Method 3-2-1 Processor
Introduction
To summarise some key ideas, rethink them in order to focus on those that one is most intrigued by, and then pose a question that can reveal where understanding is still uncertain.

An important element of reading comprehension is the ability to summarise text. Summarising requires readers to focus on the major elements of a text and to decide what is important. When reading longer texts, this strategy helps readers by allowing them to review what they read in one part before moving on to the next.

The idea is to summarise some key ideas, rethink them in order to focus on those that one is most intrigued by, and then pose a question that can reveal where understanding is still uncertain.

Suitable for small and large groups.

Aim To prompt students to structure their responses to a text, film, or lesson.
Target group Students of all courses and all study fields.
Intended learning outcomes
  • ability to summarise
  • structure the responses to a text, film, or lesson.
Description
The 3-2-1 is a quick reflective activity that encourages students to reflect on a course experience and organize their thoughts and identify areas of confusion or concern. This activity provides an easy way to check for understanding and gauge student interest. It is also an effective way to promote discuss or review.

This activity would traditionally be introduced toward the end of a lesson or after a lecture. It could also be used in response to an assigned reading.

In reaction to presented content, students are asked to take a few moments and jot down:

  • 3 ideas or learnings from what was presented
  • 2 examples of uses for how the ideas could be implemented
  • 1 unresolved area / muddiest point

Or

  • 3 Recalls – List three things you recall from the homework, lecture, or activity.
  • 2 Insights – Brainstorm two insights (ideas, connections, main points) not directly covered.
  • 1 Question – Write one question you have about the material (or a sample quiz question).

Students are then asked to share their ideas in pairs or small groups. Use the responses to help guide teaching decisions. Consider areas of curriculum that need to be reviewed again or specific concepts or activities that are most interesting for students.

Collect and discuss or have pairs/squares answer the questions.

Preparation Not necessary.
Resources and equipment Not necessary.
Success factors The 3-2-1 can be a helpful tool for getting students to organise their thoughts, and promote reflection and metacognition.

3-2-1 could easily be adapted into an online discussion board activity or quiz on Canvas

Advantages Engages students actively in learning.

Encourages students to verbalise their ideas and feelings and this can help them to understand the subject matter.

Helps to make students responsible for shaping and directing their own learning.

Disadvantages Easy for less able or less confident students to be dominated by the confident or capable students.
Additional information Here you will find an explanation of what is involved in the 3-2-1 Engagement Strategy

3-2-1 STRATEGY

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3-2-1 Processor (21 downloads)
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