Think Pair Share

A common way to engage students and create discussion in a class is a think- pair-share activity.

To get it started you need:

  1. a question prompt
  2. clear instructions


The question:

The question should be something more than just a straight forward yes or no, it might be a calculation, brainstorming activity, or knowledge recall.


The instructions:

The instructions should be clear (consistent if you use it regularly throughout the course).

  • have a defined time for the thinking
  • have a suggestion of how to find someone to pair with
  • comment on how sharing will be conducted.

This is all particularly important when teaching online.


In collaborate – did you know if students go to the participant list and click on another participants name – they can have a private chat? Maybe this is how pairing can happen, students can share their ideas in pairs using chat – before they share their ideas to the class using chat, text or an external tool (Forms, Go Soap Box).


Example 1:

A slide displaying and example of think and share -  "What makes something good? (2 mins), Please take a moment to think about what makes a learning experience good. Please write your observations, comments or ideas into the chat.
Example of think/share used in collaborate ultra. There is no paring in this task.


Example 2:

Slide showing a think pair share activity. Text - Activity 1: think-pair-share. icot Individually (30 seconds) Think about the last time your struggled to turn on a tap. icon Pair (2 minutes) Why do you think this is? icon Share: 30 seconds
A think pair share activity used in a face to face keynote.


Think pair share activities are valuable ways to encourage peer to peer discussions in large groups. There are a range of other strategies you can use in face to face, asynchronous and online session to enable discussions and support the building of community.


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