By: Alexis Gomez

When the time comes for students to study for a big test or quiz, memorizing and understanding what may feel like a long list of concepts can be daunting. Some students might not even know where to start in their studying process. Innovative teaching methodologies are essential to engage students actively and promote effective learning.

The System

The Think-Pair-Share (TPS) study system is one such pedagogical approach that has gained popularity for its ability to enhance collaboration, critical thinking, and overall student engagement. It can be used by instructors to facilitate classroom discussions.

The Strategy

It is a cooperative learning strategy that involves three key stages: thinking individually, pairing up with a peer to discuss thoughts, and sharing the ideas with the larger group. This structured process not only encourages active participation but also fosters a supportive learning community within the classroom.

The Process

First, teachers pose a question or topic for students to think about. Then, teachers have students pair up with another classmate or form a small group. Finally, students share their findings, understandings, and questions with one another. From there, select students share with the teacher and the rest of the class to encourage a classroom discussion.

This reinforces individual understanding and contributes to the collective knowledge of the group. Students learn to express their thoughts confidently in a larger setting, and the teacher gains insights into the varied perspectives within the class. This ensures that students continually engage with the material, creating a dynamic and participatory learning environment.

The Benefits

Using an effective group work technique, like TPS, can help jump start an engaging and interactive studying experience. TPS offers a range of benefits that contribute to its effectiveness in the classroom. It promotes active participation, ensuring that all students are involved in the learning process. The structured collaboration helps students develop critical thinking skills, as they learn to analyze, evaluate, and synthesize information through discussion with peers.

In and Out of the Classroom

While this teaching method is mainly used in classroom settings, it can be easily modified for more independent use.

Students can meet up with classmates and friends on their own time and use think-pair-share to compare important ideas and understandings that might be on a test or quiz. Just like it would work in the classroom, students can first start by reviewing notes, readings, and other course materials. They can jot down or make a mental note of the concepts they understand best, as well as the concepts they have additional questions on.

With their peer(s), they can share their findings and questions. When students share in this way, they make space for their peers to ask follow-up questions, which allows the brain to use active recall and encourage critical thinking. When pairs brainstorm together, each student can help fill in each other’s gaps of knowledge and learn from one another. Understanding and building knowledge from someone else’s perspective on important course concepts can help the material stick in students’ brain more and make group studying an effective learning tool.

Powerful Learning Tool

The TPS study system stands as a powerful tool for educators seeking to cultivate a collaborative and engaging learning environment. By incorporating individual reflection, peer interaction, and group sharing, TPS addresses the multifaceted needs of students, promoting active participation and critical thinking.

The TPS system is a valuable asset in the teacher's toolkit, empowering students to become active, collaborative learners in today's dynamic classrooms.