Teaching & Learning


Articulate then answer

Overview of how to design an 'Articulate then answer' digital learning activity.

Cartoon image of two heads in profile, with a lightbulv, stars and a padlock floating overhead, alongside the words: Articulate then answer

29 April 2021

About this activity

Give students the opportunity to articulate their thinking before answering:

  • 30 seconds silent thinking before any answering
  • Brainstorm in pairs first for 2-3 minutes
  • Write some thoughts down before answering
  • Discuss with your neighbour first.

Why use it

  • Encourages reflection on learners’ gaps in their knowledge or understanding. 
  • If students write questions for their peers to answer it can deepen their own understanding and that of peers. 

When to use it

  • To build confidence; 
  • To encourage reflection; 
  • To foster a sense of community;  
  • To share different perspectives on the same topic; 
  • To recall knowledge;
  • Possibly more feasible in smaller groups or with a seminar type setting.

When to use it

Depending on purpose: 

  • at the beginning as a way to recall existing knowledge 
  • in the middle to clarify points or formulate questions 
  • at the end of the question to check understanding and outstanding points 
  • as a reflective tool 

Digital tools that might be used

Synchronous and asynchronous: 

  • break-out rooms (with some preparation) 
  • Moodle chat 
  • Teams meeting 
  • share document (for the entire group) 
  • whiteboard 
  • Mentimeter (open questions) 
  • annotation software.

Speed of set up time 

10-30 minutess depending on tools being used.


Depending on resources involved and planning the structure: 

  • To define the activity 
  • To prepare questions 
  • To establish an etiquette with the students

This activity may become easier and more spontaneous if repeated throughout the modules/the sessions.

Other resources

Shared whiteboards (Zoom or Blackboard Collaborate). 

Cartoon image of two people with speech bubbles

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