What is it?

Students are presented with a problem. They are given a short time to reflect individually before pairing up to discuss their views. One (or both) members then share their conclusions with the rest of the class or group.

Why use it?

- To allow students to practice a new skill or technique

- To encourage and develop students’ problem solving skills

- To explore a complex problem from multiple perspectives

- To develop students interpersonal communication skills

- To provide students with feedback on their learning.

How does it work?

The facilitator begins by ensuring students are equipped with sufficient background knowledge to attempt the problem. Next, introduce the activity structure, being sure to outline the three steps: do the problem on your own (think); discuss with a colleague (pair); and share with the class or group (share). Set a time limit for each activity phase.


Present students with the problem or problems you would like them to attempt and provide them with any additional resources they may need during the exercise. 1. Introduce the activity and explain the problem. 2. Give students time to think on their own, ask them to talk in pairs or small groups. 3. When students are ready, ask them to share their responses with the rest of the class and explain their solution to the problem.

Where to find resources

- DTF Teaching Tip: Think, Pair, Share

- iBiology Teaching Series: Think Pair Share


This resource is based on the “Not a waste of space” project materials produced by RMIT University and the University of Melbourne, with the support of the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching. Used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Except where otherwise noted, this content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.