One minute paper

A one-minute paper is a short activity in which you literally set a timer at 1 minute. Students answer 1 question or carry out 1 short assignment, depending on the goal of the lesson.

This teaching method can be used at the beginning, middle and end of a lesson or just prior to a break. 

Activity goal
Activate prior knowledge | Assess | Reflect
In class
Hybrid | Offline | Online
< 10 minutes
Group size
Small | Medium | Large

Chat (Zoom, Teams), Mentimeter, Canvas

Step 1

Decide on the purpose of the one-minute paper, for instance to activate prior knowledge, to formulate a question about the subject matter or as concluding activity at the end to consolidate the content of the session.

Step 2

Give an assignment or ask a question that can be answered in a short space of time. See extra information for example questions.

Step 3

Set a timer for one minute and have the students carry out the assignment (either on paper or written in the chat).

Step 4

Ask a few students for their one-minute paper, or have students exchange their papers.

Questions that are appropriate for a short individual activity, such as at the start of a session:
- What is the most important thing you have learned from the preparatory learning materials or videos?
- What questions do you have about this topic?
- What personal experience or relationship do you have with this topic or content?

Or at the end of the session:
- What was the most important thing you learned during this lecture?
- What did you find difficult?
- Did you gain new insight or what is the most important lesson learned?
- What questions do you have now about this topic?
- What is your next step?

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. 

Students can directly send their answers (e.g. Mentimeter, chat or Canvas's Discussionboard), note them down in their notes, or on a post-it if the information is needed for the lecturer. 


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