Higher EdOnline Learning

Summarize, Reflect, Ask – Online Teaching Tools

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Effective Online Teaching Tools

In your time as an educator, you’ve no doubt picked up effective teaching techniques. With the recent rise of eLearning, we want to help you adapt those techniques to work just as well online. In this new series, we’ll not only provide effective teaching techniques, but we’ll recommend the tools you’ll need to transition them online, too.

The Technique

We’re kicking things off with the popular teaching technique Summarize, Reflect, Ask (also known as the 3-2-1 method). This technique asks students to revisit course material after a lecture and list the following: three things they learned, two things they found interesting, and one question they want answered. This method helps students review, summarize, and synthesize the information they just learned, reinforcing key concepts. But how can we make this method work for us in an online setting? We’re glad you asked.

The Tool

To help your students get the most out of the 3-2-1 activity online, we recommend having students record their responses in a shared slide deck such as a PowerPoint in a shared OneDrive folder or a Google Sheet in Drive. You can assign each student their own slide and ask them to fill in their answers there. This is also a good opportunity for you to retarget students to learning objectives and correct misconceptions or disconnects with learning materials. Once everyone is done, students can and should look at what other students had to say. They’ll pick up other concepts that their classmates found important as well as the questions they wanted answered.

You can also split students into groups, assign them different areas of the lesson to focus on, and have the entire class review the document together for an engaging group activity. Students can save the slide deck and refer back to it while studying, or they can use the question they wrote down as a potential writing prompt.

The Impact

The impact of the Summarize, Reflect, Ask activity is evident in the name. Students will reinforce their knowledge of the subject by recounting what they’ve learned, identify points of connection when they reflect on what interests them, and assess where their knowledge is still lacking by asking a question about the material. So, if you’re looking for an online teaching technique that gets students thinking and interacting with their fellow learners, look no further than the Summarize, Reflect, Ask activity!

Be sure to check back next week on our blog for our next online teaching tool!

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