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Designing Lessons with BOPPPS

Whether you are teaching large or small classes, each come with unique challenges and opportunities for engaging students in the learning process.  Having a structured, easy-to-follow lesson plan can support instructors’ ability to navigate classroom teaching. While there are many lesson planning models that exist, the BOPPPS model is commonly adopted as an outcomes-focused approach with opportunities for engagement and assessment. Created at the Center for Teaching and Academic Development in the University of British Columbia, the BOPPPS model is the basis for the Instructional Skills Workshop, which is an internationally recognized instructor development program.

Structuring Class Time with BOPPPS 

BOPPPS breaks down the learning cycle into six easy-to-follow components to support instructors' capacity in the classroom:  

The BOPPPS model also helps mitigate timing issues and helps instructors consider how long each component will take. For instance, the “O”, which stands for learning outcomes, typically takes less than two minutes of the lesson and the middle “P”, participatory learning, is often the most time-consuming. Consider 50% of your contact time protected for participatory learning, with approximately 10% each for the other five components, though this can vary depending on your context. By considering the six components in relation to timing, instructors can pace themselves to achieve both course content goals and learning outcomes. 


Bridge In

Typically 10% of class time

The purpose of the Bridge In is to begin the learning cycle. In this section the instructor grabs learners’ attention, builds motivation, and communicates why the lesson is important. 


  • connecting content to real world use, or to previous course content;
  • sharing personal story relevant to course content;
  • showing relevant video (keep it short, no more than 10 mins);
  • connecting content to news item, entertainment, music, film etc.;
  • low stakes check-in about prior knowledge, either recorded with iClickers or in less structured ways such as a show of hands.

For supports with iClickers, please see the Educational Technologies page on Connect, or contact


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Learning Outcomes

Typically 10% of class time

The purpose of this section is to clarify and specify your learning intention. The instructor explains what the learners are intended to know, think, value or do by the end of the lesson, under what conditions, and how well. Instructors often think about course level learning outcomes but creating lecture or class level learning outcomes supports students in connecting the course with the bigger picture. Consider:

  • explaining what learning outcomes are for;
  • how they fit into the overall course learning outcomes and assessments;
  • linking the content to specific ideas, or themes from that day's content.

Find more about defining meaningful Learning Outcomes in this Guide. 


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Typically 10% of class time

The purpose of this section is to answer the question, "What do the learners already know about the subject of the lesson?" 


  • Using polling software to ask survey or quiz questions about the content to determine what students already know. Try also using the show of hands method. 
  • Asking your students to engage with a 3, 2, 1, reflection about the upcoming content and/or the required course readings for this lesson.  In a 3,2, 1, instructors ask students to write or share three things they learned, two ways they can apply or connect the learning, and one question they still have.  
  • Provide a self-assessment worksheet.


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Typically 50% of class time

This is the body of the lesson, where learners are involved as actively in the learning process as possible. There is an intentional sequence of activities or learning events that will help the learners achieve the specified objective or desired outcome. The lesson may include the use of technology and/or media. 

The participatory portion of BOPPPS is meant to provide students with an opportunity to use knowledge or skills that they have just been taught in the lecture. The ideal way to engage with participation in large lectures is to teach a little, create space for participation, then return to lecturing, followed by more participation, cycling through each mode. 

Be realistic about the time available to engage in active learning moments in the class. It will take time for your students to settle into a task or activity as well as get them settled back into the lecture.

Each of the following suggestions are scalable for both small and large classes with upfront planning. Consider engaging students in active learning activities like:

  • Think-pair-share where students write reflections, come together as pairs and then larger groups to share and refine their ideas. 
  • Discussions and debates including small groups or whole class
  • Role playing activities, and/or simulations
  • One-minute paper. 


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Typically 10% of class time

The post-assessment determines, formally or informally, if the students have demonstrated or achieved the intended learning outcomes. Consider using:

  • exit tickets to leave class about what students are taking away from the class (3, 2, 1, or guided questions);
  • polling software to ask direct questions about content that students are taking away from the class; 
  • informal questions to the class about what they are taking away from the lesson.


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Typically 10% of class time

The summary section allows the learners to reflect briefly and integrate the learning during the learning cycle's closing. Consider using:

  • mind maps to show where content sits in the larger context of the class;
  • a short video (under 10 mins) that summarizes the main points of the class;
  • brief reflections to ask students to think about what they have learned (works well in large classes);
  • using learning outcomes as prompts to get students to reflect on their learning. (works well in large classes).


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More Support and Resources

No matter the size of your class, implementing the BOPPPS model for lesson planning supports authentic and deep learning.  When you become comfortable with BOPPPS, you can structure your lesson plan to tailor to your specific class needs. The Teaching Excellence and Innovation team is here to support your incorporation of BOPPPS into your class planning, and Laurier instructors are encouraged to contact us a for assistance.

Laurier Resources

Curated Resources

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