Blended learning activity 4: One sentence summary

Introduction

In many blended subjects, lecturers provide subject content in a variety of formats in the LMS (e.g. short narrated PowerPoint videos, key readings, animated videos, podcasts). While these materials may be engaging, learning remains passive if students are not required to complete activities related to this content. Blended learning activities bridge the gap between the online and face-to-face environments.

Why do this activity?

Encourages critical thinking
It can be difficult for students to 'see the wood for the trees' when engaging with learning material. They often have difficulty distinguishing the main points from the supporting points and examples, and seeing the bigger picture. The one sentence summary requires all of these thinking skills

Develops concise and precise writing
The skill of writing concisely and precisely is important in academic learning. The one sentence summary forces students to develop this skill as well as to learn to synthesise information into a coherent whole.

Develop collaborative and feedback skills
The in class activity provides an opportunity for students to workshop each other's writing. Giving and receiving feedback from peers requires good negotiation and diplomacy skills.

How do I do this activity?

Before class
After viewing, reading or listening to an online resource, students are given a set of prompt questions to help them identify the key points in the material. The table below shows some options which can be adapted for particular resources.

Who? 
What? 
To whom? 
When? 
Where? 
Why? 

During F2F class
Students work in pairs to refine and combine their one-sentence summaries into one single one-sentence summary. Each pair writes their sentence on a whiteboard, with a number. The class then votes on the best one-sentence summary. The lecturer or tutor then puts this summary on LMS next to the corresponding resource. Students can then view these summaries as part of revision for the subject.

Watch a video about this activity