Listen, stop, compare

Looking for a quick way to get your students to process your explanation actively during a full lecture? Slot in a short interruption after a period of explanation, in which students can compare and correct their notes with each other.

Announcing this assignment in advance ensures that students are in active listening mode. You can target this even more by giving students a concrete question on which they should focus. 

Activity goal
Exchange knowledge |
Recap / Summarize
In class
Offline |
< 10 minutes
Group size
Small |
Medium |

Zoom, Teams

Step 1

Before you start with your explanation, give the students a concrete question or focus point to concentrate on during the explanation. Indicate whether students can make notes of the most important points they hear during the explanation, or whether they will be given the time afterwards for this. 

Step 2

Give the explanation while the students are listening. 

Step 3

After 10 to 15 minutes, stop giving the explanation and give your students the time to make individual notes of the most important points given in the explanation. 

Step 4

Have the students compare their notes in pairs. You can do this, for example, by asking students to take turns in mentioning an important point. Students should check each other’s notes and add corrections where necessary to their own notes. 

Step 5

You can repeat these steps multiple times during a lesson.

  • Variation 1

    When your ask your students to listen actively without making notes, you encourage your students not to divide their attention between listening and making notes. This way students learn to pick out the key points. However, students do need to know that they will be offered the time to do this after the explanation.

  • Please consider the tools and materials mentioned here as suggestions. In many cases it’s possible to use alternative tools. Please turn to the Learning & Innovation team of your faculty (EUR or EMC) first to see which online and offline tools are available and how to apply them.

    Have students compare and discuss their notes in breakout rooms in Zoom or MS Teams.