Active Learning In Virtual Environment/Snowball Technique

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Activity: #in-class/short-term, #group-work, #quick-preparation

Outline[edit | edit source]

Snowball technique gives students an opportunity to share and teach different concepts and topics.[1] Firstly, students work independently - they gather information and ideas. Then, they collaborate with a partner. Next, partners join another pair and form a group of four students. Lastly, they form a group of eight.[2] What makes this technique efficient is the active collaboration among students. Moreover, students can take the role of a teacher by sharing information they gathered or asking questions. The more students there are in a group, the more effective the learning outcome will be.

Snowball Technique Illustration

Activity arrangement[edit | edit source]

  • provides students with materials
  • give students about 10 minutes to read the material and list key factors
  • once students have finished the first task, they share what they have discovered with another student
  • two pairs form a group, the task repeats, students add additional details
  • further, groups can join into the groups of eight and repeat the process
  • you may end the task by discussing students’ findings with the entire class[3]

Pointers[edit | edit source]

  • active student engagement
  • collaborative work
  • students try a role of a teacher[4]

How to use this method in online class?[edit | edit source]

Students can be divided into breakout rooms firstly as pairs, then as a group of four and so on. Students then share their findings. All notes can be written down in a shared Google document.

Footnotes[edit | edit source]

  1. Western Sydney University, ‘Strategy: Snowball Technique”, n.d., received from
  2. Gay Miller, ‘Snowball Technique - A Teaching Startegy’, Book Units Teacher, 2021, received from
  3. Ibid, note 2
  4. Ibid