‘The One Minute Paper’ – end of Lecture Activity in City’s Learning Spaces

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The One Minute Paper is an end of lecture activity that encourages students to work collaboratively to clarify their understanding of course content and reflect on different peer perspectives. It gives the lecturer the feedback about what the students understood and helps them to amend their next lecture. Take a look at the group work suggestions in our series of blog posts. We recommend booking City’s new Learning Spaces to run these activities.


The One Minute Paper is a brief note (taking 1-5 minutes)  written individually or in groups usually at the end of a Lecture.

Why? The activity allows students to answer one of the questions that the lecturer asks (see Technique secton below) and this helps them to reflect and clarify their understanding of a topic either individually or in a group. It also allows the lecturer to see what the students have understood, without requiring large amounts of preparation. The results help lecturers to restructure their subsequent lectures with the class.

A hand writing

A quick end of lecture activity, on paper or using a voting application such as Polleverywhere

Technique: Ask the class a question or two on a slide about 5 minutes before the class finished. These are some of the questions you could ask the class:

What was the most important point of the lecture?

What was the most surprising idea or concept?

What question remains unanswered in your mind?

What question from this class might appear on the next quiz/test?

What was the muddiest point of the lecture?

What was the main concept illustrated by the in-lecture demonstration/experiment?

Ask the students to think about the question individually or in a group of 3-4 for a few minutes (if you are in a swivel seating lecture theatre, ask them to swivel around and discuss in a small group).

Ask them to individually write their 1-2 line response.

Hourglass Timer

Why not use a timer in the lecture for the activity?

Collect the responses the students have handed in as they leave the lecture and review the responses for the next lecture.

Technology: You can use the open ended polls feature in Polleverywhere to get responses from students instead of asking them to use a piece of paper.

Tip: Remember to acknowledge the feedback at the next lecture, so your students know you value their feedback, even if you don’t implement any specific changes to your practice immediately.

Where can this activity be done?

This activity can be tried in several of our learning spaces including : BLG07, C308, C309 and ELG02 (opening October 2014) which all have fixed swivel seating and in a number of our newly refurbished Learning Spaces including A112, D222 and AG24B

For more ideas on group work activities in flexible learning spaces visit http://tinyurl.com/LSgroupwork.


This blog draws on the following works:

Griffith University, n.d.  Teaching Large Classes: Challenges and Strategies [online] Available from: http://www.griffith.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/118924/GPG-tlc.pdf [Accessed: 28.08.2014]

Surgenor, P. (2010). Teaching Toolkit in UCD Teaching and Learning Resources [online] Available from: http://www.ucd.ie/t4cms/ucdtlt0021.pdf  [Accessed: 28.08.2014]

Zeilik, M. n.d. [online] Available from: http://www.flaguide.org/cat/minutepapers/minutepapers7.php [Accessed: 28.08.2014]

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