Name of the tool:


What the result will look like:

A visual representation of key events and lessons learned, presented in a temporal dimension.

Description of the tool:

The “Timeline” exercise is a creative learning tool to visually map participants’ learning and artistic journeys over time. Using a temporal framework, individuals are encouraged to document significant activities, events, and key learnings using a combination of words, colors, drawings, pictures, and symbols.

These personal timelines serve as dynamic visual representations of their unique experiences and insights.

When it can be used:

Through the “Timeline” exercise, participants can reflect on their learning progression, identify milestones, challenges, and highlight moments of growth. It can be used to present processes and outcomes and to draw out lessons learned during or at the end of a learning process.

Who it’s useful for:

The “Timeline” activity is most effective during the evaluation and reflection phases.

Artists and project managers can create their individual, team or organizations timelines as an exercise, summarizing and visualizing their individual journeys and the journey of the organisation.

Length of process:

It is an exercise that is typically integrated in a larger event. The “Timeline” activity typically ranges from 30 to 60 minutes (depending on the number of participants), allowing everyone sufficient time to create (if the timelines are developed on the spot, during a meeting) and share their timelines. The collective discussion that follows may extend the overall duration.

Main features - advantages:

Visual Representation: Enables participants to visually map and share their learning journeys.
Personal Reflection: Facilitates self-reflection on individual growth, experiences, and key learnings.

Group Dynamics: Fosters a sense of community as participants share and relate their stories.

Creative Expression: Allows for diverse forms of expression, including words, colors, drawings, and symbols.

Main features - disadvantages:

Time Consumption: Depending on the group size, the sharing and discussion phase may extend the overall duration of the activity.

Additional resources: It requires resources to encourage creative takes on the timelines (e.g. coloured markers, photos, etc.)

Guidelines for implementation:

Materials: Provide participants with a variety of materials such as markers, pens, paper, and visuals to enhance creative expression.

Group Sharing: Allocate time for participants to share their timelines with the group, encouraging open discussion and connections.
Facilitator Guidance: Facilitators can offer support during the creation process and guide discussions to draw connections between participants’ timelines.

Tool in practice:

During ClowNexus, “Timeline” was used in Artistic Laboratories and during the final session marking the end of the project. The clown artists were asked to plot their experience in ClowNexus in the temporal dimension.

Origin of the tool:

This is a commonly used tool in educational contexts, trainings, strategic planning, etc.