Pro and Con Grid Active Learning - Active Learning

Last updated on 18/05/2020

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Pro and Con Grid


A simple activity that encourages students to think about the advantages and disadvantages of an issue.

How to implement the strategy

  1. On a white board (online or face-to-face), draw a two-column grid with one column labelled ‘Pros’ and the other labelled ‘Cons’.
  2. Pose a statement about a topic that requires students to think about the advantages and disadvantaged of the topic. For example, Australia should abandon compulsory voting.
  3. Indicate how many pros and cons you’d like each individual, pair or small groups to develop.
  4. Allow five to ten minutes for discussion or silent thought.
  5. As a whole group, with you facilitating and recording, write pros on cons in the relevant columns of the grid you have drawn on the whiteboard.
  6. Combine pros and cons that are very similar and count the number of times they recur to show their perceived importance.

Variation and extension:

The strategy can be used for the basis of a class debate.

The strategy can be used as an individual activity prior to the session, to promote students thinking about a topic. This pre-session activity will help students to prepare for a class discussion on the topic

The purpose of the strategy

This strategy helps students to move beyond their initial response to a topic by encouraging them to analyse and evaluate information and make decisions based on this analysis. It is a good strategy for seeking different perspectives on a topic, identifying assumptions and misconceptions. Therefore, it is useful for promoting critical thinking skills.

The Pro and Con strategy can be used to anaylse a procedure, technique, conclusion, attributes of a fictional character, political decision, etc.

The learning focus of the strategy

  • Collaborative Learning

Technology that can be used to enhance the strategy

Collaborate Ultra: If you are giving an online lecture via Collaborate Ultra, insert a blank slide with the statement you want students to respond to and a Pro & Con grid below the statement.  Encourage students to use the Text function to type their responses.  You will have to monitor responses and at times re-arrange the layout as text boxes can overlap each other.  Take a screen shot before moving on to the next slide to ensure all entries are captured. 

Padlet: You can generate discussion prior to or after a session by posting your statement on Padlet and encouraging students to share their pro/con; advantage/disadvantage; agree/disagree discussions in this collaborative space.  


Class size that is suitable for the strategy

  • 100+ students
  • 20 - 50 students
  • 50+ students
  • < 20 students

Activity group size

  • Individual
  • Pairs
  • Small group < 10

Year level in which the strategy is often used

  • First year
  • Post graduate
  • Second year
  • Third Year+

Discipline area (Academic Group) in which the strategy is often used

  • Arts Education and Law
  • Griffith Business School
  • Griffith Health
  • Griffith Sciences
  • Other Group

Phase of the learning and teaching session in which the strategy will be used

  • Conclusion to the session
  • Main phase of the session
  • Post session
  • Pre-session

Preparation time for the strategy

  • Less than 10 minutes

Duration of the strategy

  • Less than 10 minutes

Level of learning outcome that the strategy is designed to address

  • Evaluate

Learning space appropriate for the strategy

  • Informal space (e.g. library/at home)
  • Lecture theatre
  • Online
  • Seminar room
  • Workshop

Assessment Strategies

  • Formative Assessment

Preferred Citation

Learning Futures (2020). Pro and Con Grid. Retrieved from


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