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.

Activity goal
Exchange knowledge | Recap / Summarize
In class
Offline | Online
< 30 minutes| < 60 minutes| > 60 minutes
Group size
Small | Medium | Large

Zoom, Teams

Step 1

Before you start teaching, start with a short explanation of the way the group will work. The subject matter will be explained by you in blocks of 10-15 minutes and students are expected to listen attentively. 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. At the end of each block students get time to compare their notes with a fellow student.

Step 2

Start the first block of your 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. 

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

Repeat these steps for each block during a lesson.

  • When your ask your students to listen actively without making notes and at the same time notify them that they will get time for that afterwards, will give them peace of mind. That encourages students not to divide their attention between listening and pick out the key points.
  • By explaining this way of working in advance, you will help students to listen attentively. You could consider giving your audience a question or specific point of attention to help them focus.

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.

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