Three-Step Interview (classroom)
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Facilitating a Three-Step Interview active learning activity in a classroom.
Time and Effort
|Instructor Prep Time||Low|
|Student Activity Time||Low|
|Instructor Response Time||Low|
|Complexity of Activity||Low|
Three-Step Interview has student pairs take turns interviewing each other, then asks them to report what they learned to another pair. Step 1: Student A interviews Student B; Step 2: Student B interviews Student A; Step 3: Student A and B each summarize their partner’s responses for other groups.|
Use it when you want...
- To allow students to network and improve communication skills,
- To have students listen carefully, concentrate on the interviewee’s responses, and encourage elaboration while refraining from imposing their thoughts, or
- To have students practice expressing their ideas succinctly as they summarize the results of their interview.
What students will need
- No special requirements for this approach.
The following workflow is meant as guidance for how you can facilitate a Three-Step Interview learning activity within a classroom.
- Develop a list of interview questions that involve opinions or experiences related to course content.
- Identify the types of questions that align with the course goals and probe for values, attitudes, prior experience, and/or comprehension of course content.
- Students divide into groups of four, then into two pairs (A-B and C-D).
- The instructor poses the question to the class. Gives students time to think about the question and devise individual responses.
- Students are asked to join their groups.
- Student A interviews Student B; Student C interviews Student D for a predetermined time. The interviewer asks questions, listens, and probes for further information but does not evaluate or respond.
- Student B interviews Student A; Student D interviews Student C for the same amount of time.
- Student A and B introduce each other with synthesized summaries of their partner’s interview responses to Student C and Student D. Student C and D do the same.
- Students share responses in a larger class discussion.
- Draw conclusions, synthesize results, or guide another activity in response.
- Review the outcomes of the activity.
Accessibility and Room Considerations
- The wearing of masks by students (particularly in large lecture halls) may make it difficult for students to hear one another when they are asked to speak. All classrooms that are large enough to normally require a microphone already have a microphone system with a communal clip-on pickup element. Further information about the availability of additional clip-on or headset microphone elements will be coming soon. View the instructions and short videos below to assist with the use of the microphones and the portable systems:
Barkley, Elizabeth F. et al. Collaborative Learning Techniques: A Handbook For College Faculty. Wiley, 2014. pp. 175-179.