Rollercoaster Check-In

Closing, Get-to-know, Icebreaker, Opening

Discuss challenges, Intragroup openness, Providing feedback

Empathy, Introspection, Self-reflection

Up to 15 min, Up to 30 min, Up to 60 min

6-15 persons, 16 – 30 persons, More than 30 persons




This playful method creates a powerful shared picture of the feelings in the group. Checking-in is a simple way for a team to start a meeting, workshop, or activity. By using the metaphor of a rollercoaster this alternative version supports participants to think differently about how they are feeling. People place themselves at different points on the rollercoaster, explaining their dominant feeling right now.

Necessary tools (what you need)


  1. Explain the purpose of a check-in if necessary, that it is an important tool to take the group’s emotional temperature, to uncover any fears, concerns, or needs. Explain that this is a method to explore the whole group’s feelings in a playful and visual way.
  2. Draw the basic rollercoaster (wavy line with loops, steep sections, and shallow sections) in the collaborative space.
  3. Explain that we are going to draw ourselves on the rollercoaster, depicting how we feel right now, then share that feeling with the group. We will do this one-by-one.
  4. Now invite users to add themselves to the rollercoaster as drawn notes. Give each participant, as much time as you think is necessary and practical. It can be as little as one word, or as much as 5-10 minutes.
  5. When everyone has checked-in if there is time then look at the rollercoaster as a whole group and share/discuss any thoughts that emerge.

Tips & Tricks

  • If you are not using an online whiteboard, we’d recommend using a collaboration tool such as Google Docs to collect the information for each hat under a separate heading. Invite everyone into the document to share their images but be very clear in regards to editing rights. You can delineate which person is wearing each hat by using Zoom icons.
  • When facilitating group discussion, we’d recommend that participants use non-verbal means to indicate they’d like to speak. You can use tools like Zoom’s nonverbal feedback tools, a reaction emoji, or just have people put their hands up.The facilitator can then invite that person to talk

The exercise is successfully completed when? Conclusion?