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Post-ups are a fun and effective way to get people to articulate their expectations for a course and share them with the rest of the group. Learning objectives can then be prioritised according to the number of similar stickies, and unique expectations can be used to direct one-to-one discussions.

You will need


Stickies, pens, a big (ideally vertical) space to stick them on.

Benefits and limitations


  • It's quick and cheap
  • It requires little advance preparation by either the trainers or the trainees 
  • It gets course participants up and moving, stimulating energy flow in the group and encouraging interactions between them
  • It's also a kind way to deal with trainees who don't like standing up and talking about themselves


  • Because it's quick, it's also dirty - and it doesn't scale very well

What do I actually do as an instructor/facilitator?

Preparation / before class

No preparation time - can be used spontaneously.


Implementation / during class

Select a topic that you want the group to provide input on; for example, it might be 'what are the most important things you need to know about a drug target to help you decide whether it's a valid target? Or 'what are the most important things to understand about a macromolecular structure to determine its quality?'. Provide everyone with three sticky notes. Ask them to write down their top three priorities within a defined time (3-5 minutes generally works fine). Invite participants to post up their stickies on a wall, window or other large space. Let them arrange them randomly at first, then discuss with the group how to categorise them. Get the group (or a subset of it - a few volunteers usually step up) to rearrange the stickies. Don't throw away duplicates as they'll help you to prioritise. Use the reorganised sticky notes to agree on overall priorities. This exercise typically takes 30–45 minutes.

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Gamestorming A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers
 By Dave Gray, Sunni Brown, James Macanufo
Publisher: O'Reilly Media 
Released: July 2010; Pages: 290
; ISBN: 978-0-596-80417-6

The reference describes the general use of post-ups; other examples and ideas are provided at
It might be possible to use as an online post-up board for virtual classrooms

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