Techniques and tips

16th September 2011 at 01:00

Ways to develop independent learning

Application cards After teaching about an important theory, principle or procedure, ask students to write down at least one real-world application for what they have just learned to determine how well they can transfer their learning.

Group brainstorming Get students to assess one another's ideas in groups, thereby providing a visual opportunity for teachers to assess learning.

Muddiest point Ask students to write down what they have learned on a post-it note mid-lesson as a mini-plenary, or as the plenary activity, to see what is least understood so the teacher can intervene.

Gallery walk

Here, teams rotate around the classroom, composing answers to different questions at different points in the room as well as reflecting on the answers given by other groups. Each chart or "station" has its own question that relates to an important class concept. The technique closes with an oral presentation or "report out" in which each group synthesises comments to a particular question.


Get pupils to think in pairs on a topic and feed back while the teacher assesses understanding.


Get students to think in pairs and then groups of four, at every stage peer-assessing what each has said.

Self assessment and peer assessment

Ask students to assess themselves and one another using success criteria. TESpro will examine peer-to-peer learning in detail in a forthcoming issue.

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