Educational system around the BarCamp

Application of the BarCamp concept with prior preparation by learners in a pedagogical approach.

Educational system around the BarCamp

Group size : Group (10-15 persons), Classroom (20-30 persons)

Modality : Presential

Duration of the teaching method : An entire session, Over several sessions

Special equipment : Space and projectors or boards or flip charts. A way to phonetically isolate the different groups

Type of knowledge developed : Knowledge, Know-how

Target Audience : Students, Professionals in training

Course Type : Tutorials (TD), Course

Preparation time :½ organization day and 1 big preparation day

Author and persons who made changes : Elsa Ballini

Why am I using this technique?

For my learners...

This approach enables teachers/trainers to involve learners in the course of training and to break away from the classic pattern of teacher/trainer transmission to learners.

During this activity, the speakers are led to develop bibliographic reading, analysis, reflection, synthesis and oral presentation skills. They will also acquire teaching skills as the BarCamps progress, as they will see in use which presentations work with other students and which do not). They must take responsibility for the task (especially in the case of individual presentations) and be proactive.

At the end of the sessions, the learners will have acquired, in addition to the skills mentioned, a "knowledge catalogue" related to the theme addressed.

For me, teacher or trainer...

This activity requires an investment by the teacher/trainer to explain the process and the issues at stake.

Once its methodology is in place, it can reuse the form and some documents from one year to the next without requiring as much time (variations are detailed in the category below).

This approach makes it possible to leave the traditional patterns of transmission, in particular in terms of knowledge, which is stimulating for a teacher/trainer in search of evolution or novelty as for his pedagogical approach.

Framework and steps / Instructions

The framework

This type of method is interesting for "catalogue" courses.

It is also ideal if the objective is to make oral presentations to students. This type of learning corresponds to peer learning, it is based on the principle that students retain information better when it comes from another student rather than from a teacher.

The preparation

> See BarCamp sheet

If the number of learners is large, it is better to involve several teachers/trainers to supervise this pedagogical method.

The subjects can be very varied and unlike the traditional BarCamp, they are not already mastered by the learners. The subjects can be a set of texts on the subject if it is a bibliographic work that one wishes to do. But it can also be a production work that must then be presented orally.

The process

  1. Preparation of the work upstream by the trainer: choice of having the learners work individually or in groups, preparation of the subjects, reflection on the organisation of the activity in time and space. Availability of the assignment of subjects to each group/individual or of the list of available subjects to choose.
  2. First session to introduce the activity to the learners (15 minutes): Explain the concept of the BarCamp and relate it to the proposed activity. Explanation of the teacher/trainer's expectations of the learners. Following this session, the learners must begin to work on their own on their subject.
  3. Second session (1h): Focus session between the teacher/trainer and each group of learners. This allows learners to ask questions about their topic and the teacher/trainer to ensure that they have understood it correctly. This sequence can also be distributed within the course hours of the module (15 minutes to bridge the project).
  4. BarCamp" session (2h): See the BarCamp sheet. It is quite complex to set up a scheme allowing everyone to attend all the presentations. It is possible that each learner will only be present at a few presentations in order to feed the final debate. When the presentations are finished, a topic is chosen by the learners and is discussed by all groups/individuals during 30 to 45 minutes of final discussion.
  5. Then, if the content of the presentations is important and the knowledge must be assimilated by everyone, the learners (by subject group) must submit at the end of the session a summary sheet on their work topic. As the set will be distributed to all groups, they will ultimately have access to a complete knowledge catalogue on the theme studied.


Organisation of a time with all participants (teacher(s)/trainer(s) and learners) to discuss how the whole activity went.


Peer evaluation of participants, via a grid of criteria established by the teacher/trainer. Focus the evaluation on the form of the presentation by dividing the rating criteria among the different listeners (one on the gestures, another on the way of speaking...). However, they must justify their grade.

Be careful how this evaluation is implemented so as not to have a counter-productive effect. It must be a small percentage of the final mark and its pedagogical interest must be highlighted.

Points of vigilance

The development of a complex work subject which requires a long work on the part of the students implies work in autonomy on their part over a long period before the restitution in common, to be adapted according to the work required, this can exceed the month.

> See BarCamp sheet

What if it doesn't work?

Some students do not participate in the BarCamp, for shyness for example, or for other reasons related to lack of motivation... It is therefore necessary to find a way to maintain motivation during the BarCamp.

For example, note the dynamics of the group orally, plan an exam later on this BarCamp, value the best presentation,...

Useful links

Other resources https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BarCamp

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