Teaching & Learning


Talk partners

Overview of how to design a 'Talk partners' digital learning activity.

Talk partners.

29 April 2021

As a plenary or a starter to a session, students share with a partner:

  • 3 new things they have learnt,
  • what they found easy,
  • what they found difficult,
  • someting they would like to learn in the future.

Example instructions for students

In pairs, discuss 3 new things you have learnt or what you found easy or difficult or something you would like to learn in the future. 

Why 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  
  • To ‘test the water’ 
  • (Possibly more feasible in smaller groups/ 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


  • break-up rooms (with some preparation) 
  • chat 
  • Teams meeting 
  • Proximity apps 
  • Please build in preparation time if you split students in pairs/small groups as they will need to get to know each other.


  • Chat 
  • Teams 
  • Forums 
  • Moodle workshop 

Speed of set up time 

1 minute to 30 minutes depending on resources involved and planning the structure.


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

  • Proximity apps 
  • annotation software  
  • whiteboard 

Cartoon image of two people with speech bubbles

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