The Three-Step Interview Learning Strategy in the Classroom

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Use the Three-Step Interview Learning Strategy to enhance student participation in the classroom. This strategy will help students process what they are learning while they develop essential life skills at the same time.

What is the three-step interview learning strategy?

The three-step interview learning strategy incorporates a blend of role-playing and discussion to facilitate student learning. The cooperative learning technique facilitates the development of skills such as active listening, note-taking and sharing information. The strategy comprises of Q&A sessions and interviews, enhancing student interest and engagement, and in turn making learning more fun and enjoyable in the classroom.


For the three-step interview, students are grouped into small groups of three. Each member in the group assumes the role of interviewer, interviewee and reporter/note-taker; and each student should get an opportunity to play each role. To help explain the process, each student will be named as A, B and C.

The interviewing process is conducted in three steps:

Steps Interviewer Interviewee Reporter
Step 1 Student A Student B Student C
Step 2 Student C Student A Student B
Step 3 Student B Student C Student A


After the three-step interview process is completed, the students are given extra time to share and consolidate the information. Some points that are to be considered for this process include:

  • Purpose of the activity: The three-step interview can be used as an entrance activity to introduce the topic and to activate past knowledge; an in-between activity to encourage students to analyze and understand the topic in depth; and an exit task to review the information taught in the class.
  • Questions: Teachers can provide a general topic statement or question around which the individual student’s questions are to be formed. This general statement can be framed to reflect the purpose of the activity.
  • Interviewing: Students need to be familiarized with the method of interviewing. Using video clips, teachers can point out these various facets of an interview including the importance of “taking time” to think before answering a question. They can also be given the freedom to choose whether or not to answer a particular question as in real interviews.
  • Timing: Teachers need to plan for three key time durations. One, after presenting the general topic, students can be given around 2-3 minutes to prepare their thoughts and questions. Two, interviewing time can be a fixed time of 3-4 minutes, after which an extra minute is given to prepare for the next role. Three, after the interviews are conducted 2 minutes can be provided for the students to share and consolidate the information.
  • Recording: Teachers can create a template of a recording sheet and hand them out to the students. The same sheet can be used to record questions and answers from all three students. It can also include a space for noting down the consolidated and summarized information.


The three-step interview learning strategy is beneficial to student learning in the following ways:

  • It encourages students to think about the information they have been taught
  • It expands their ability to question, think and generate answers
  • It provides each student with the opportunity to voice their opinions, and promotes equal participation
  • It promotes student accountability

The three-step interview learning strategy helps students to enhance their learning by using their inquisitive nature and enables them to develop their skills such as active listening, questioning and generating answers.

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