Contributed by:


Intended Learning Outcome:

To use critical thinking to assess relevant trends


What’s Hot and What’s Not is a useful tool to assess what is useful and what is not in the module. By asking students to justify why they are using their ranking criteria, it can help to develop critical thinking skills. There are many ways you could use it: 

Relevance – use this to discuss what current trends are in a given area and investigate how these link to the module.

Student interest – use this to discuss what students are currently into (in terms of songs, social media podcasts, trends in production etc.

Assessment – make a list of the common mistakes and the common best practices for an assessment and ask students to judge and rank them.


Discuss the area you are looking to analyse. Ask students to contribute to a list and then ask them to rate what is hot and what is not and say why. It is important that the decision is justified to help develop critical thinking. Whether something is hot or not can be assessed through many lenses – what is current for young people, what is the largest grossing, what has most social media traction etc.





Large Group Teaching:

With large groups, you can either run this as a solo activity and then put students into groups to discuss/adjust their decisions or you could have small group discussions which contribute to a whole class activity of generating one list.

Online Teaching:


Students are aware of current developments related to the module and can use critical thinking to justify their contributions.

Next Steps:

You could review this at intervals to see if trends have changed and question why this may have occurred.

Links to other activities:

Further reading:



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *