Teachers U3 Lesson 1

Ping-Pong Planning

Are you struggling with planning your online lessons? Are you unsure about which steps you should take to deliver your activities? First of all, remember: online teaching delivery (whether synchronous or asynchronous) should be neither static nor passive. Students should always be prompted and involved in a sort of “ping-pong” scheme.  

Imagine a ping-pong table. The players are: yourself – the teacher – and the student(s); you start the game and serve a “ping” (i.e. delivery/ explanation of instructions, content or a combination of the two); the student(s) should receive the ball and respond accordingly with a “pong” (i.e. active participation in the activity). Feedback can be delivered both during and at the end of the activity. 

As in a real match, players decide the intensity of the shot. Therefore, you and the students can decide the duration of the ping-pong “match”, as well as the duration of the feedback. The following Templates have been devised to show you the different planning combinations of “ping-pong” lesson delivery and can be adapted to both synchronous and asynchronous contexts.

Synchronous delivery

Assuming that your online live class is 50 minutes long and to avoid running out of time and having to rush through content and/or feedback, you can plan a 2-activity class (either repeating one template twice or combining two of them). Alternatively, if your lesson requires more organisational instructions (for example: division of the class in breakout rooms), you can decide to distribute the chosen model over your 50-minute slot. This especially suits oral skills classes where students are more likely to be asked to work in groups and be assigned different tasks.

The ping-pong model is structured around a delivery that involves  a continuous and quick exchange between the teacher and the students and/or among the students. This format allows students to be constantly engaged and motivated. Depending on your learning objectives, we have created a series of templates based on the ping-pong model, which include:

instructions/ active participation in the activity/ feedback 


content delivery + explicit instructions / active participation/ feedback.

Asynchronous delivery