Benefits promotes teamwork, collaboration, evaluation, and synthesis


  • developing questions
  • Preparing class materials (envelopes)
Activity Time 30-60 min, depending on class size


Enlist the aid of a TA to move between groups, in addition to
the instructor, to field questions and help move the discussion
along (if needed).
Assessment low-stakes, formative (participation)

For this activity, the instructor presents one or multiple instructor- or student-generated problems, questions, or cases. Each team of students records the problem or problem choice on an envelope and works as a team on solutions or responses to the problem on a separate piece of paper. After an allotted time, the team inserts their response in the envelope and passes their envelope to a second team. The second team cannot look at the first team’s response. Rather, they must work on their own response to the problem on the envelope, which they insert into the envelop after the allotted time has past. A third team must either synthesize the first two teams’ answers or synthesize their own answers with the first two teams before presenting the solutions to the class.

Depending on class size and team size, presentations might provide the biggest consideration in terms of budgeting class time, but send/pass a problem should be adaptable for most class sizes and work across disciplines.