This Summer Term, LSE LIFE are offering students the opportunity to experience one-to-one sessions in a different way. The Education Blog took a walk with LSE LIFE’s Gemma Stansfield to find out more about how Walk & Talk appointments can help students consider their work in new light.

What is Walk & Talk?

Walk and Talk is a study appointment with a difference. We talk through study questions or issues, but we do this while strolling around Lincoln’s Inn Fields, a beautiful green space next to LSE’s campus. The idea is based on the importance of dialogue for development and the positive effects of walking on creativity, problem-solving and well-being. We discuss topics in a way that helps students explore different perspectives and options and walking can help open up the free flow of ideas. The appointments start and finish in LSE LIFE and students can sit and write-up the ideas discussed after the session if they want to.

LIF_photo 4Where did the idea come from?

I’ve always enjoyed walking and one day I thought it would be interesting to try one-to-one study appointments while walking too. I thought students could benefit from a change to their usual study environment and a space to talk and reflect. My previous research focused on feedback and the central role of dialogue for learning. I’m especially interested in ‘teacher-student’ dialogue in university contexts such as office hour appointments or tutorials and the learning opportunities afforded by making these one-to-one interactions a two-way discussion. So, I thought it would be interesting to combine the benefits of walking and being outside with a focus on dialogue – Walk and Talk.

LIF_photo 2How are students finding it?

The feedback from students who have had a Walk & Talk has been extremely positive. Most students have commented on the refreshing and stimulating setting for the discussion and have appreciated the opportunity to “talk out loud”.  One student said that walking and talking pushed them to be more creative and think outside the box and another described Walk & Talk as an innovative approach and said it is a flexible and dynamic way to talk about different study issues. I think those comments nicely capture the ideas behind the initiative.

LIF_photoWhat kinds of topics have you discussed so far?

The main topic of discussion so far has been dissertations, such as how to narrow down a topic, how to structure the text, how to write a literature review or how to manage multiple research tasks at the same time. Some students have booked a Walk and Talk without a specific question in mind – they simply wanted to talk about their dissertation and reflect on the progress they are making – and I’ve found this an interesting aspect of these appointments. Apart from dissertations, we’ve also discussed dealing with exam pressure, procrastination, goal setting and study strategies.

LIF_photo 3

If you’d like to find out more about Walk and Talk, feel free to contact Gemma Stansfield, LSE LIFE Learning Developer g.stansfield@lse.ac.uk

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