A common way to engage students and create discussion in a class is a think- pair-share activity.
To get it started you need:
- a question prompt
- clear instructions
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 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).
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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