This type of activity first asks students to consider a question on their own, and then provides an opportunity for students to discuss it in pairs, and finally together with the whole class. The success of these activities depend on the nature of the questions posed. This activity works ideally with questions to encourage deeper thinking, problem-solving, and/or critical analysis.  The group discussions are critical as they allow students to articulate their thought processes.

The procedure is as follows:

  1. Pose a question, usually by writing it on the board or projecting it.
  2. Have students consider the question on their own (1 – 2 min).
  3. Then allow the students form groups of 2-3 people. 
  4. Next, have students discuss the question with their partner and share their ideas and/or contrasting opinions (3 min).
  5. Re-group as a whole class and solicit responses from some or all of the pairs (3 min).

Advantages of the think-pair-share include the engagement of all students in the classroom (particularly the opportunity to give voice to quieter students who might have difficulty sharing in a larger group), quick feedback for the instructor (e.g., the revelation of student misconceptions), encouragement and support for higher levels of thinking of the students. 

Learn more about think-pair-share.

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