Cleveland State University

The Center for Teaching Excellence

Use Classroom Assessment Techniques

Teaching Tips III: suggestions and ideas on teaching

Classroom Assessment Techniques let you know if your students have learned what you wanted them to learn.

    1. Background Knowledge Probe

    • Find something students know about the next topic. Give them two or three open-ended questions or 10 or so multiple choice questions to indicate their knowledge as they begin the topic.
    • Use the feedback in class or analyze it for the next class.

    2. Focused Listing

    • Select a topic or concept you will or just have taught - describe it in a phrase. Put the phrase on the board. Ask students to take two to four minutes to list ideas related to the phrase. Do the same yourself.
    • Use the feedback in class or analyze it for the next class.

    3. Memory matrix

    • Draw a simple matrix with row and column headings or distribute in a handout. Fill in yourself using course information. Make a handout with rows and columns filled in; copy on the board or overhead. Tell students to fill in. Give them a minimum number per cell (three is better than one, which might stymie them as they search for the one right answer).
    • Collect and assess.

    4. One-Sentence Summary

    • Select an important topic.
    • First, answer the question "Who does what to whom, when, where, how, and why?" (WDWWWWHW) yourself and put the response into a grammatical sentence.
    • Note how long it takes you.
    • Give the same task to students and double the time allowed.

    9. Diagnostic Learning Logs

    • Tell students you will be asking them to keep records of what they learned from class, readings, tests, etc.
    • Give them a sample format -- such as a Class Log with main points they learned, points that were unclear, and what need to know to make them clear or a Homework or Test Log on which they are to describe assignments, give examples of errors, and tell how they would do it differently.

    10. Chain Notes

    • Compose a question which will help you and your students capture a moment in their mental activity.
    • Make sure the question can be answered quickly by all students.
    • On a large envelope, print the question, directions, and enough index cards or slips of paper for each student.
    • At the beginning of class, announce what you are doing and why -- emphasize the importance of waiting until the envelope arrives and of writing quick honest anonymous responses. (For instance: just before this arrived, what were you paying attention to?)
    • Start the envelope.
    • Summarize the results and discuss them.

    11. ROQC2 (Recall, Summarize, Question, Connect, and Comment) Can be used separately or in combination.

    • Select an important topic.
    • First, answer the question "Who does what to whom, when, where, how, and why?" (WDWWWWHW) yourself and put the response into a grammatical sentence.
    • Note how long it takes you.
    • Give the same task to students and double the time allowed.

Adaptations:
Categorizing Grid

  • Provide the row and column labels and answers in a scrambled format and have students place them in the right cells.
    Pro and Con Grid
  • Focus on a decision or judgement dilemma. Prompt students to take a certain perspective and tell them how many responses you want.
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