Sharpen your answer

In this teaching method, you present a case to the students and ask them to first write a short answer. They then work in pairs to further clarify their answers. By repeating this step, the students work in increasingly larger groups to reach agreement on the answer. Continue doing this until there are 2 groups left to discuss their answers in the tutorial. 

Activity goal
Assess |
Exchange knowledge |
Recap / Summarize
Post class |
Pre class
Offline |
< 30 minutes
Group size
Small |

Zoom, Teams

Step 1

The students write a 1-sentence summary or response to a statement. Allow a short amount of time for this (1-2 minutes). 

Step 2

After the time is up, ask the students to exchange their answers with another student and to work together to write an improved version. Again allow a short amount of time for this (3-5 minutes).

Step 3

Then have each pair find another pair to further clarify their answers. Repeat this step until there are 2 groups that each share their answers in the tutorial. Compare the answers and discuss any missing information or information that needs to be added. 

  • Variation 1

    You can also use this teaching method at the end of (part of) your lecture or tutorial to get students to write a conclusion or summary together. 

    Variation 2

    This activity also works online or in a hybrid form. You then create pairs and new groups in breakout rooms in Zoom or Teams. When you work in a hybrid group, it’s handy to have an online facilitator. 

  • 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.

    • Writing materials (notepaper, pens)
    • Online with Zoom or Teams