Exercise: Jigsaw Reading Activity

Summary of Example Activity

Students are assigned to groups that will become experts on a reading or group of readings. The members of the group collaborate to prepare a presentation. The class is then redistributed so that one member from each expert group makes up a small group. The group members take turns teaching each other the material that they prepared.

Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • Synthesize information from a reading and identify the main concepts.
  • Compile a presentation and participate in peer-to-peer learning.
  • Demonstrate critical thought about the topic.
  • Develop online intercultural communication skills.
  • Develop an understanding of how to work within different learning styles, regional/national perspectives and time zones.
  • Explore how the main concepts are differently understood and experienced (more pronounced if the students have different training or experience).
  • Reflect on the skills necessary and the challenges one must overcome to work on a national/international collaboration.

Materials and Data Needed

Students will be required to complete a reading or group of readings and work with peers in their own class and in the collaborating class to create a presentation.

Technology Needed

Students will need access to a forum to collaborate on their project such as Google docs, a forum in an LMS such as Moodle or social networking software such as Facebook.

Estimated Time

Preparation for the activity should last three to four weeks to allow group members enough time to read and connect on their topic. The presentations take place synchronously during a one to three class periods (depending on the size of the groups).


  1. Students are assigned to large expert groups and asked to complete a reading or group of readings. The expert groups are made up of peers from their class and the collaborating classroom.
  2. Each group is assigned a timeslot to present to their peers in small groups.
  3. Students work within their expert groups to create a presentation, compiling the work using an online collaborative document.
  4. Students report to class and are redistributed into small groups so that each group has one member from each of the large expert groups.
  5. Students give the presentations in their small groups.