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ESOL Online. Every child literate - a shared responsibility.
Ministry of Education.

Consensus: co-operative learning

How to use consensus

  1. Divide the class into small groups and explain the learning activity to the students. Each group will need a sheet of paper. Write the topic for discussion on the whiteboard.
  2. Each group draws a large shape with the same number of sides as there are people in the group. For example, a group of three would draw a triangle, a group of four a square.
  3. Draw a large margin inside this shape and mark off a section for each person.
  4. Each person in the group takes a turn at making a statement or giving an opinion on the topic.
  5. If everyone in the group agrees with the statement/opinion then the person writes it in the centre of the shape.
  6. Any statement that is not agreed on by the whole group is written in the person's individual section.
  7. The whole class then shares statements agreed on and if time discusses those statements in individual sections.


Consensus diagram for a group of four people discussing the topic: "Watching television helps you learn to speak English".

Consensus diagram.

Further reading

Cooperative learning (Education World website)

Published on: 09 Jun 2009