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Pro and Con Grid (classroom)
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Ways of facilitating a Pro and Con Grid activity in a classroom.
Time and Effort
|Instructor Prep Time||Low|
|Student Activity Time||Low|
|Instructor Response Time||Medium|
|Complexity of Activity||Medium|
Pro and Con Grid has students follow a decision-making process by reviewing an issue, creating a list of pro and con arguments, and making a decision based on the weight and analysis of those points. A review of students’ lists reveals the depth and breadth of their analyses, capacity for objectivity, and strength of their decision-making skills.|
Use it when you want...
- To help students to move beyond their first reaction to a topic, to search for at least two sides to the issues in question, to weigh the value of competing claims, to think critically about the construction of arguments they encounter in the real world, or to get an overview of their analysis of an issue of mutual concern.
What students will need
- No special requirements for this approach.
The following workflow is meant as guidance for how you can facilitate a Pro and Con Grid learning activity within a classroom.
- Write a prompt that will elicit thoughtful pro and con arguments on a decision, judgment, dilemma, or issue.
- Select the desired approach and prepare the technology to facilitate the activity (ex. Create a shared Google Doc).
- Determine when you will have students engage in this activity (beginning, middle, end, or outside of class).
- Set up students into groups.
- Present an example of a pro and con grid.
- Hand out a blank sheet of paper to students. Have them draw a pro and con grid on it.
- Let students or groups know how many items you expect them to list.
- Determine whether students should use words, phrases, or sentences in their list of pro and con arguments.
- Give students five to ten minutes to complete the activity.
- Direct students to share their documents with the instructor.
- Review grids. List the points students provided in each category and do a frequency count. Which arguments do students mention most often? Compare students’ lists with yours. How balanced are the two sides?
- Provide feedback/grade based on the quality of the grids.
- Discuss the results of the activity at the next class meeting.
Accessibility and Room Considerations
- The wearing of masks by students (particularly in large lecture halls) may make it difficult for students to hear one another when they are asked to speak. All classrooms that are large enough to normally require a microphone already have a microphone system with a communal clip-on pickup element. Further information about the availability of additional clip-on or headset microphone elements will be coming soon. View the instructions and short videos below to assist with the use of the microphones and the portable systems:
Angelo, Thomas A., and K. Patricia Cross. Classroom Assessment Techniques: a Handbook for College Teachers. Jossey-Bass, 1993. pp. 168-171.