Round Robin (classroom)

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Facilitating of Round Robin active learning activities in physically-distanced learning spaces

Time and Effort

Instructor Prep TimeLow
Student Activity TimeLow
Instructor Response TimeLow
Complexity of ActivityLow


Round Robin has students brainstorm on a topic without elaborating, explaining, or questioning ideas. Group members take turns responding to a question with a word, phrase, or short statement. Students share their thoughts one at a time until all students have had the opportunity to speak.


Use it when you want...

  • To have students generate as many ideas as possible around a topic while discouraging comments that interrupt or inhibit the flow of ideas,
  • To ensure equal participation among group members, or
  • To generate a list of ideas that will be the basis for a next-step assignment.

What students will need

  • No special requirements for this approach.


The following workflow is meant as guidance for how you can facilitate a Round Robin learning activity within a classroom.


  • Write a prompt that can generate a rich array of responses and can be expressed quickly and succinctly.
  • Practice by listing as many possible responses as you can.
  • Use the length of your list to predict the duration of your in-class exercise.
  • Decide whether or not groups should rotate through more than once.


  • Ask students to form groups. 
  • Have students assign roles (e.g. rule enforcer, recorders) if necessary.
  • Explain that the purpose of brainstorming is to generate many ideas. Inform students that they must refrain from evaluating, questioning, or discussing the ideas to prevent interrupting or inhibiting the flow of ideas.
  • Give groups a time limit.
  • Pose the prompt. Ask one student to begin by stating an idea or answer aloud. The next student continues brainstorming by stating a new idea; moving from member to member until all students have participated.
  • Review and synthesize results. Draw conclusions from the activity or use results to inform another activity.


  • Review the outcomes of the activity.

Accessibility and Room Considerations

Technical Documentation


Barkley, Elizabeth F. et al. Collaborative Learning Techniques: A Handbook For College Faculty. Wiley, 2014. pp 159-163.

See Also:

Keywords:round robin, discussion, active learning, classroom   Doc ID:104153
Owner:Timmo D.Group:Center for Teaching, Learning & Mentoring
Created:2020-07-20 10:05 CSTUpdated:2021-08-20 13:06 CST
Sites:Center for Teaching, Learning & Mentoring
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