Think-Pair-Share

think pair

Think-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.

Download: One Page Summary
  • Why it works
  • Implementation
  • Video Exemplars
  • Research Evidence
  • Why it works

    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

    Implementation

    1. Pose a higher order thinking question to your students (e.g. application, analysis, evaluation, synthesis, etc)
    2. Give them a minute to think and compose their answers individually (THINK)
    3. Ask them to turn to the person next to them and discuss their answers (PAIR)
    4. Elicit answers from a few pairs, have students answer on a google doc, etc  (SHARE)
    5. Follow-up by clearing up any misconceptions

  • Video Exemplars

    Video Exemplars

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

  • Research Evidence

    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