What is it?

Think-Pair-Share is a technique where the instructor poses a question to the whole class and asks students “think” on their own for a short period of time. Then the instructor asks students to “pair” up with a partner or in a small group for another brief window to share what they were thinking on their own. Finally, the instructor brings everyone back together and asks for a reporter from the pair or small group to “share” what their group discussed. See another guide from Kent State.

When to use it?

Think-Pair-Share is an effective strategy to help students grapple with difficult material in a low-stakes activity. It is also particularly useful when students may be introverted or have a difficult time speaking in front of large groups.

Modalities Examples:

  • In person, Hybrid, or Blended: Use the method above to implement this strategy for days when you meet with your students in person.
  • Interactive Video: Instructors might wish to try using chat features of a web meeting tool during the synchronous meeting time to implement a “Think-Pair-Share” activity. This will ensure parity between groups–especially if some locations have only one student.
  • Virtual Classroom: Instructors might ask students to do this activity in small groups using Microsoft Teams or Zoom breakout rooms for the “Pair” portion, and then much like the “in-person” method, request that a representative from the small group share out with all present during the web meeting (via chat, audio, or audio & video).
  • In-person with streaming capabilities: An instructor might wish to use the in-person method for the synchronous, in-person meeting, and then also use the online method (below) for students who are attending remotely.
  • Online: An instructor might use Canvas discussion groups with restricted topics to randomly or strategically assign pairs of students or small groups to discuss what they were thinking on their own, then have another discussion board that is open to the whole class, to which a student from each pair or small group could report out. Instructors might wish to require the multiple due dates for each stage (e.g. “Think” on Monday after some assigned readings/lecture material; “Pair” due on Tuesday at 11:59 PM; “Share” due on Friday at 11:59).