This formative assessment strategy can help learners prepare and reflect on their own learning needs. It also helps instructors gauge learner preparedness and ability to meet intended learning outcomes.

Difficulty: 1/5




Groups of 4 

Core Competency Connection

Sketch of a dragonfly on a green gradient background
Sketch of three wolves on a grey gradient background
Sketch of two bees on a yellow gradient background

The Process

1. Choose Your Outcomes

Review the intended learning outcome(s) learners are working towards. 

2. Divide and Conquer

Develop a learning module related to the outcome(s) that can be divided into equal parts. This can include key concepts and/or skills associated with a learning outcome’s body of knowledge.  

3. Expert Groups

Divide students into equal groups. These are the expert groups that will be teaching the rest of the learners about the chosen outcomes.

4. Assign Topics

Assign each expert group a topic to master. Learners will become experts on the topic by exploring all viewpoints, then develop learning materials (presentations, infographics, etc.) and formative assessments (quizzes, reflection activities, etc.) to teach and test the other groups. 

5. Jigsaw Groups

Divide learners into new “jigsaw” groups with one expert per group. Each expert teaches other groups using the learning materials they created with their expert groups. Experts lead the discussion on their topic and assess their peers’ understanding of the topic using their formative assessment strategies.

6. Reflection

Step: Bring the entire class back together and ask them to reflect on what they discovered during this activity. Have them consider what they discovered about their own learning, what they would do differently to teach their topic next time, and whether they successfully fulfilled the learning outcome.  

Tips & Tricks

To learn more about formative and summative assessment, explore other assessment tools in the Teaching Toolkit! 


Cult of Pedagogy. (2015, April 15). The jigsaw method [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euhtXUgBEts 

Doherty, J. (2013, April 18). Tools and strategies to support blended learning. http://lc2.ca/item/107-tools-and-strategies-to-support-blended-learning 

Fink, L. D. (2004). Beyond small groups: harnessing the extraordinary power of learning teams. In Michaelsen, L., Knight, A., and Fink, D. (Eds.). Team-based learning: A transformative use of small groups. Stylus Publishing.   

CTLI Staff

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