Think-Pair-Share

students in discussionThink-Pair-Share is an evidence-based teaching technique that helps students consolidate information and demonstrate understanding. This is a whole-class exercise that can be completed quickly.

 

 

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Why It Works

  • All students have to attempt to answer the question on their own
  • Having to explain their answer to someone else can reveal flaws in students’ thinking
  • Students may be more comfortable answering a question after they’ve had a chance to discuss it with their neighbor

Implementation

  1. Pose a question to your students
  2. Give them a minute to think and compose their answers
  3. Ask them to turn to the person next to them and discuss their answers
  4. Elicit answers from a few pairs or have students answer individually using a student response system
  5. Follow-up by clearing up any misconceptions

Video Exemplars

Think Pair Share: Introduction and demonstation of the effective use of this active learning method (6:20 minutes)

Open Commons Content Credit:  Science Education Resource Center (SERC) Carleton College Think-Pair-Share

Research Evidence

Content Description: This article demonstrates that peer discussion in class enhances understanding of course concepts, even when neither of the students knows the correct answer to the question.

  • Wolff, M., Wagner, M. J., Poznanski, S., Schiller, J., Santen, S. (2015). Not Another Boring Lecture: Engaging Learners With Active Learning Techniques. The Journal of Emergency Medicine, 48(1), 85-93.

Content Description: This article demonstrates that peer discussion in class enhances understanding of course concepts, even when neither of the students knows the correct answer to the question.

  • Smith, M. K., Wood, W. B., Adams, W. K. Wieman, C., Knight, J.K. Guild, Su, T.T. (2009). Why peer performance improves student performance on in-class concept questions. Science, 232, 122-124