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Strategy Bites: 10/2


At Teaching and Learning Services, we regularly receive questions from instructors asking for ideas to enhance their teaching and improve students’ engagement in class. So, we’ve recorded 2-3 minute video bites that describe how to implement some strategies we’ve chosen based on relative ease of implementation, suitability for different class sizes, and their representation of a variety of interaction types. We’ll be sharing these strategies in the Teaching for Learning @McGill University blog over the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

 Strategy: 10/2

The 10/2 strategy involves lecturing or presenting information for 10 minutes and then allowing students to work for 2 minutes in pairs to summarize the information or address a question you’ve posed.

Why use this strategy?

One of the greatest challenges I encountered as a student was trying to maintain my attention span throughout an entire class period. It often seemed as though the instructor was racing to cover as much material as possible in a short—yet seemingly long—period of time. There was little opportunity for me to absorb the information and fully comprehend it. Moreover, trying to listen, understand and simultaneously scribble notes as the instructor was lecturing proved to be a skill I was not really able to hone. I know I was not the only student to feel this way.

How might this problem be overcome? One of the simplest additions to your lectures can be the 10/2 teaching strategy. The idea is that you present content in 10-minute increments spaced apart by 2 minutes of rest. This rest time allows students to grasp concepts and reflect on them, catch up on their notes, and ask questions. Adopting the 10/2 strategy requires minimal planning and little extra time to implement.

I strongly believe that implementing a strategy like 10/2, which can engage students in their learning, can lay a solid foundation for students to understand subsequent material. That foundation may be crucial for student achievement. If the 10/2 strategy had been implemented in some of the courses I had taken, it would have been a game changer.

Would you like to know more?

Check out the other posts in the Strategy Bites series:

What strategies do you use to provide students with time to reflect on and assimilate content during your classes? Share your ideas!

Featured Image photo credit: Victor Tangerman

Jasmine Parent is an M. Sc. graduate from the program of Global and Community Nutrition in the Department of Dietetics at McGill University. She is currently enrolled in the M. Ed. Technology Program at the University of British Columbia and works as an Assistant Online Course Developer at McGill’s Teaching and Learning Services. Her greatest passions include cooking and exploring healthy recipes, practicing yoga, and spending time in nature. 

Jasmine Parent is an M.Sc. Graduate from the program of Global and Community Nutrition in the Department of Dietetics at McGill. She is currently enrolled in the Masters of Education Technology Program at UBC and she works as an Assistant Online Course Developer at TLS. Her greatest passions include cooking and exploring healthy recipes, practicing yoga and spending time in nature.

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