Teaching & Learning


Tell your neighbour

Overview of how to design a 'Tell your neighbour' digital learning activity to help students articulate their thoughts.

Cartoon image of two people outlines with speech bubbles, alongside the words: Tell your neighbour

29 April 2021

About this activity

Students ‘tell their neighbour’ as a means of articulating their thoughts.

  • Ask a question, give thinking time, then ask students to tell their neighbour their thoughts.
  • Tell students what the new topic is and then ask them to tell their neighbour everything they know about it.

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 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


  • Break-out rooms (with some preparation); –
  • Moodle chat; 
  • MS Teams meeting; 
  • Proximity apps

Please build in preparation time if you split students in pairs or small groups as they will need to get to know each other.


  • Moodle Chat; 
  • MS Teams; 
  • MoodleForums; 
  • Moodle workshop 

Speed of set up time 

1 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

  • Whiteboards.

Cartoon image of two people with speech bubbles

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