At a Glance


  • Social sciences

Instructional Level

  • University

Tasks in Workflow

Social Plane(s)

  • Individual
  • Group
  • Whole Class

Type of Tasks

  • Discussing
  • Solving problems

Technical Details


  • Single class period (< 90 mins)

Instructional Purpose

  • Application & knowledge building


In this follow-up activity to “Teacher for a Day: Defining a Definition”, students are given a problem related to definitions that they must solve. At the beginning of this activity, the instructor shows students an example problem and discusses how to analyze the problem. Students then work on a new problem. They begin by individually solving the problem. Once everyone has a possible solution written down, students get into pairs or groups in which they share, discuss and modify their answers (based on group discussion and/or consensus). Once groups have finalized their answers, they share their answers with the entire class. The class and instructor discuss the different answers presented and students once again can modify their individual answers to the problem.

Instructional Objectives

Students practice problem-solving individually as well as in groups. This helps to improve their critical thinking skills, debate skills (group discussion) and knowledge assimilation (presented with different solutions to a problem and must evaluate which solution is most correct).

Workflow & Materials


Activity Workflow

View on CourseFlow

Contributor's Notes


This activity is employs peer instruction at two levels: small group discussion, and whole class discussion. By using small groups, students that are shy to share their ideas with the entire class can express themselves. By encouraging discussion at the class level, students are also exposed to a greater number of solutions to the problem they were tasked with solving.


Even after group and class discussion, some students still may not have the correct solution to the presented problem.


The instructor can correct any student misconceptions related to the problem/solution during the class discussion.


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