• each student gets to formulate and test their own answer
    with a peer before (potentially) presenting their
    thoughts to the larger class
  • students get the opportunity to reflect on and
    discuss the current topic or new material which can aid
    understanding and remove misconceptions


  • identifying topic for idea generation
  • organizing pairs
Activity Time 3-10 minutes (depending on size of class/sharing time)


  • The question the instructor asks students must be
    difficult enough for students to benefit from conferring
    with their peers.
Assessment low-stakes, formative (participation)
This activity centers around three main steps:
  1. An individual student initially thinks about an answer to a question posed by the instructor.
  2. Then, students pair up, compare, and discuss each other’s answers. They will need to decide how to best reconcile their two answers, either by combining answers, rationalizing the separate answers, or choosing one of the two answers for the next step.
  3. When the class regroups, the instructor facilitates a sharing session in which the pairs share their paired answer with the rest of the class.

Discussion and multiple choice questions work well for this activity.

While this activity is often implemented in the classroom, synchronous collaboration tools like Google Hangouts, WebEx, and video conferencing allow students to break off into discussion groups and then regroup with the rest of the class.