At a conference in 2011, I saw a speaker use a think-pair-share exercise with a room of more than 200 strangers. Within two minutes, he could barely quiet the room and the following conversation was rich and meaningful. I have used this strategy heavily in my classroom ever since.
Even though I am a firm believer in this discussion method, I am not always the best practitioner. This Inside Higher Ed article gives a quick overview of the think-pair-share model, as well as some helpful tips to get the most out of this classroom strategy.