Analytic Teams (classroom)

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Facilitating Analytic Teams active learning activities in a classroom

Time and Effort

Instructor Prep TimeMedium
Student Activity TimeLow
Instructor Response TimeLow
Complexity of ActivityMedium


Analytic Teams have members of a group assume roles and perform tasks while critically reading an assignment. Roles such as summarizer, connector, proponent, or critic focus on activities within an analytic process. It can be particularly useful when the teacher assigns roles that exist within the norms of the discipline.


Use it when you want...

  • Students to understand the different activities that constitute a critical analysis,
  • To focus on learning and to perform one aspect at a time,
  • To prepare students for more complex problem-solving assignments in which they may assume multiple roles, or
  • To increase and equalize participation levels among group members.

What students will need

  • No special requirements for this approach.


The following workflow is meant as guidance for how you can facilitate an Analytic Teams learning activity within a classroom.


  • Select an assignment that requires an analytical process. Break the process down into parts:
    Proponents: List the points you agreed with and state why.
    Critics: List the points you disagreed with or found unhelpful and state why.
    Example Givers: Give examples of key concepts presented.
    Summarizers: Prepare a summary of the essential points.
    Questioners: Prepare a list of substantive questions about the material.
  • Determine whether you could perform each assigned role and whether each is sufficiently challenging.
  • Create a template for the activity using Google Docs and/or create a Zoom session in which groups can work collaboratively.


  • Form student groups of four or five. Assign each individual in the team a specific role and job assignment. Note: Be aware that groups larger than 2-3 people are encouraged to use text-based chat features instead of speaking to one another to reduce the noise volume in the room and to prevent shouting across long distances between students.
  • Present the lecture, show the video, or assign the reading.
  • Give teams class time for members to share their findings and present analyses.


  • Review student analysis or formal presentation of findings.
  • Provide feedback/grade to the group or individual based on the quality of analysis.
  • Summarize student performance in the next class. Tell them how these skills will affect their future work, and make suggestions on how students can improve their analytic process.

Accessibility and Room Considerations

Technical Documentation


Barkley, Elizabeth F. et al. Collaborative Learning Techniques A Handbook For College Faculty. Wiley, 2014. pp. 249-254.

See Also:

Keywords:analytic teams, active learning, problem-solving, classroom   Doc ID:104141
Owner:Timmo D.Group:Center for Teaching, Learning & Mentoring
Created:2020-07-20 08:18 CSTUpdated:2021-09-01 07:19 CST
Sites:Center for Teaching, Learning & Mentoring
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