Every Student Solution Counts/alx

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Every Student Solution Counts
Contributors Christian Köppe, Ralph Niels, Robert Holwerda, Lars Tijsma, Niek Van Diepen, Koen Van Turnhout, René Bakker, Stijn Hoppenbrouwers
Last modification June 6, 2017
Source Köppe, Niels, Holwerda, Tijsma, Van Diepen, Van Turnhout, and Bakker (2015)[1][2]; Köppe et al. (2016)[3]
Pattern formats OPR Alexandrian
Learning domain

By way of preparing for class, students have completed assignments and handed in their work before class as part of Use Student Solutions (Use Student Solutions). During class, these assignments are discussed, usually taking the student’s work as the starting point. The group size is not overly big so that you principally could know all students.


Students may feel that their work is not considered relevant and stop handing it in.

Usually, it is infeasible to discuss all the works of all the students: there are too many of them, and too little available time. Besides, many of the students’ solutions are likely to be so similar that discussing every one of them would be mostly repetitive and not very useful.

Students, whose work is left out of the discussion too often (or never used), may start to feel their work is not considered relevant, and may loose their motivation to keep handing in finished assignments.

This problem is amplified when the teacher discovers that the work of some particular students is often very useful in class discussions (because they consistently hand in optimal solutions, or just the opposite: they consistently hand in solutions with interesting mistakes). The teacher may start to disproportionally select these students’ work, leaving other students disproportionally often left out.

Contradicting forces are time limitations and the fact that too much repetition is not very useful on the one hand, and the fact that students may feel that their preparations are not important or not taken seriously if their work is not discussed during a certain class on the other hand.


Therefore: Make sure that each student in the group—or most of them—will openly see his or her work being discussed every once in a while.

The core of this solution is that you recognize and value all students. Keep track of which students have already “had a turn", and which ones haven’t yet. A simple list with the student names and the option for registering whose work has been used already is a good way of realizing this solution.

If you lose track, it may help to simply ask the students who hasn’t shown something yet. However, this won’t work when students are reluctant to draw attention to themselves, because, for example, they aren’t confident about the quality of their work.

A positive consequence of this approach is that when every student’s work is discussed every once in a while, students will see that their work is of use for all other students. They will probably be extra motivated because they know chances are high that at some point their name is being called, and they want to make sure that they always have something to show. Because the solutions include both good and less good ones, this also helps with showing that everybody makes mistakes.

A negative consequence may be that the work of a student that is selected simply because it was this student’s turn (and not because their work was considered useful to discuss by the teacher), is that it may not add value (for example because a similar solution was previously discussed). Also, it is possible that if a student consequently hands in work of lower than average level, he or she may feel embarrassed.

One important way to prevent such reluctance is to be very explicit in showing appreciation (even thanking them) for the student’s efforts and for allowing you to use his/her work as a basis for discussion—even (or: especially) when the solution received quite a bit of criticism. This is described in pattern Student Contribution Esteem (Student Contribution Esteem). Another option to prevent this problem is to Anonymize Solutions (Anonymize Solutions) which are used in the first in-class meetings.

A randomized list of students’ names can be helpful: you simply work your way from the top to the bottom of the list. This may help to keep students on their toes, knowing that their turn may come at any moment. A drawback of this method is that students whose work has already been highlighted can be certain that it will take quite a bit of time before their next turn.

This pattern can also be applied when you use Compare Solutions (Compare Solutions).

For the course “Object-Oriented Program Development" at HAN university, teachers use a sheet to register which students had submitted the preparation and additionally which student solutions were used for class discussions. An (anonymized) example is shown in the figure below. This sheet is sometimes also shown to the students in the beginning of the lecture as part of the Preparation Material Check (Preparation Material Check) pattern. It also helps with realizing Student Contribution Esteem (Student Contribution Esteem).

Every Student Solution Counts-alx.png


  1. Köppe, C., Niels, R., Holwerda, R., Tijsma, L., Van Diepen, N., Van Turnhout, K., & Bakker, R. (2015). Flipped classroom patterns: designing valuable in-class meetings. In Proceedings of the 20th European Conference on Pattern Languages of Programs (EuroPLoP 2015). New York:ACM.
  2. Also mentioned in Köppe, C., Niels, R., Holwerda, R., Tijsma, L., Van Diepen, N., Van Turnhout, K., & Bakker, R. (in press 2015). Flipped Classroom Patterns - Using Student Solutions. In Proceedings of the 22nd Conference on Pattern Languages of Programs (PLoP 2015). New York:ACM.
  3. Patlet also published in Köppe, C., Niels, R., Bakker, R., & Hoppenbreuwers, S. (2016). Flipped Classroom Patterns-Controlling the Pace. In Proceedings of the 10th Travelling Conference on Pattern Languages of Programs (VikingPLoP 2016). New York:ACM.