How can I Use “Question and Answers in Pairs” Effectively to Facilitate Learning?

Check Out the New Blog Question and Answer PairsQuestion and Answers in Pairs is a strategy used within the classroom to facilitate learning of a topic, revision of the material and to help students prepare for a test. Students are paired and instructed to derive challenging questions from the material that was taught in class. Each student makes a list of questions which their partner must try to answer.  At the end of the exercise, the teacher will instruct the student pairs to list down their questions together with a summary of its answers and collect these from every pair. The strategy facilitates summarization, critical thinking and learning of the material taught.

Innovative usage of question and answer pairs:
Every strategy is effective only as long as students find the strategy interesting. So here are a few ideas on how you can modify this process to make it interesting and fresh.

Choosing partners: Random pairing of students encourages the class to interact with each other.  At the same time, you can introduce some movement within the class to get the students energized.  The following methods will help to bring about some physical activity in the class.

Pick a name: Students on one side of the class writes the name down on a piece of paper and puts it in a box placed on the teachers table. The remaining students have to come up and take a name out of the box forming the partners for the day.

“Turn to your right”: Partner up with the student on your right side.

Number method: Students are instructed to call out 1, 2, 3, etc and all the 1’s form a pair, 2’s another pair.

Musical chair method: The first student and the 2nd student who gets out forms a pair and so on.

Rapid Q and A session: Students are first allotted some time to formulate their questions (mostly one word answers). After which student A has to answer questions asked by student B in 1 minute. The round is reversed with student B answering questions by student A. At the end of this session, students can analyze how many answers they got right and how much they learnt it the class.

Q and A index method:  In this method, the questions are already prepared by the teacher and distributed to the class.  In such cases, questions should be thought provoking and having more than one answer, to facilitate logical and critical thinking among the students. Students are then instructed to note down their various opinions on the question and to summarize each answer for the question.

Grade the question: Sometimes it is important for students to ask the right question and this is often difficult. Encourage students to come up with their best questions and the partners can grade the questions in terms of relevance, challenge and material covered.

Discuss Here:
What are some strategies that you use to review content taught in the classroom?

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One Response to “How can I Use “Question and Answers in Pairs” Effectively to Facilitate Learning?”
  1. Lois Hahn Zuniga says:

    During summer school this year, I found a “jeopardy” game template I used weekly as a review for themes taught within an adult ESL class. I was able to save the free “Jeopardy” template and just plug in my concepts for an end of week review in the Jeopardy game format which includes questions/answers or answers/questions. This was a huge success with ESL adults. I created Jeopardy: money, Body parts, weather, famous people during our 4 week summer English program!

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