Reciprocal Teaching: Part 1

When we teach a skill, we need to have a thorough understanding of it, so using techniques that require students to become an expert in something to teach the concept to their peers should be particularly effective. This is called reciprocal teaching (Barkley, Cross, & Major, 2005).

Six Techniques

These six techniques for reciprocal teaching may be useful for our pet selection course to varying degrees. Each technique will be described and assessed for usefulness in light of the current project. Each of these techniques is described in greater detail in Barkley, Cross and Major (2005).

Note-Taking Pairs

For this technique, students take their own notes independently based on a lecture, reading, or other lesson. Then pairs are formed. Students share their notes, providing corrections and clarifications. Points of contention can be discussed in more detail and clarified using source material. This should result in superior notes, unless both students have the same misconceptions or other errors.

This technique might be a useful way for students to compare what they think they learned about the different types of animals after a lecture, reading, or video that provides details on the pets being presented.


Next time, a couple more reciprocal teaching ideas.


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