One Pagers

Click to download Perspectives One Pager
Perspectives One Pager

The basic idea underpinning the concept of a “One Pager” is that it represents a one-page (no, really) response to something.

Conventionally, given the concept’s origins in literature studies, this a piece of text.

Somewhat less conventionally, in the context of sociology / psychology we can widen the definition of “text” to include just about anything you want – from a perspective or theory, through a research method to a specific concept you need students to understand.

In other words, One Pagers are a way of getting students to condense their Notes on a particular topic or idea into a single page – which can, of course, be linked if necessary – that eventually builds into a simple, efficient and well-organised, revision system.

In order to do this a One Pager needs to have some sort of structure – otherwise it’s just a blank sheet of paper – but what that structure might be is up to you (if you want to provide strong guidance) and / or individual students (if you’re confident enough to allow them to create the different structures that work for them).

If students are new to the idea – and need a bit of encouragement to adopt it – it might be useful to develop One Page templates together to cover different aspects and types of Note-taking. This can, of course, include various forms of visual Note-taking (pictures, drawings, doodles…) as well as more-conventional text.

Once students are confident with the idea and happy to use it you may find they develop their own, personal, structures that you can share with students who may be struggling to develop a style of their own.

How various One Page templates develop will be strongly-influenced by what students are expected to know, the skills they are expected to demonstrate and so forth. In Sociology, for example, “evaluation” is an important skill that can be reflected in Notes that focus on things like the key strengths and weaknesses of a theory, method or perspective.

In this respect, there are a couple of Template examples I’ve created you might find useful / instructive. I’ve presented these as Word documents (so they’re not pretty and pretty basic) rather than pdf files because most teachers / students will find it easier to edit the former.

Perspectives template: This is based around four key areas:

1. An overview of the perspective.

2. An analogy to illustrate it.

3. Key strengths

4. Key criticisms

What? Why? Where? Template: This is designed to record ideas about key concepts or theories and has three main components:

1. What is the theory or concept?

2. Why is it signficant (sociologically)?

3. Where’s the evidence to support / criticise the theory / concept?

Click to download W3 One Pager
What? Why? ,Where? One Pager

This type of Template has the added bonus of getting students to develop the W3 (What? Why? Where?) technique for answering exam questions.

These are, of course, merely ideas to get you thinking about how to help students develop their own Templates (or you may want to impose a “class-style” if you need to get them to focus on key exam stuff / techniques).

One Pagers are rarely contemporaneous creations because it’s very difficult for a student to give them their full creative attention in the midst of, for example, a lecture. In this respect it’s probably best to see (and sell…) them as “revision work” students can do outside the class throughout their course. It’s work that teaches them to both review and revise what’s been done inside the classroom (never a bad thing…) and lay the basis for more concerted revision towards the end of their course.

Having said this, it’s possible, with a little forethought and preparation, to deliver information in a One Pager-friendly way to students. If you’re new to One Pagers, however, this is probably something you might want to develop once you’ve used them with students for a little while.

Something Similar. But Slightly Different

One Pagers have similarities with some other graphical Note-making techniques such as Method Mats, Learning Mats and Graphic Organisers and it’s possible to combine these with One Pagers in various ways.

Different types of Mats, for example, could be usefully applied in the classroom with One Pagers being mainly created outside it.

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