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Indiana University Bloomington
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Course Development

Classroom Assessment Techniques

Name:

Description:

What to do with the data:

Time required:

Minute Paper 2


During the last few minutes of the class period, ask students to answer on a half-sheet of paper: "What is the most important point you learned today?"; and, "What point remains least clear to you?". The purpose is to elicit data about students' comprehension of a particular class session.

Review responses and note any useful comments. During the next class periods emphasize the issues illuminated by your students' comments

Prep: Low
In class: Low
Analysis: Low

Show me your notes

Periodically, ask a few randomly-chosen students to photocopy their class notes and anonymously send them to you so that you can see if students are grasping the overall structure and your main points.

Using your class objectives as a benchmark, study the notes from one day and observe consistencies and differences between your objectives and those recorded and highlighted by your students. Adjust accordingly.

Prep: Low
In class: Low
Analysis: Low

Memory matrix

Students fill in cells of a two-dimensional diagram for which the instructor has provided labels. For example, in a music course, labels might consist of periods (Baroque, Classical) by countries (Germany, France, Britain); students enter composers in cells to demonstrate their ability to remember and classify key concepts.

Tally the numbers of correct and incorrect responses in each cell. Analyze differences both between and among the cells. Look for patterns among the incorrect responses and decide what might be the cause(s).

Prep: Medium
In class: Medium Analysis: Medium

 

Direct para-
phrasing

Ask students to write a layman's "translation" of something they have just learned -- geared to a specified individual or audience -- to assess their ability to comprehend and transfer concepts.

Categorize student responses according to characteristics you feel are important. Analyze the responses both within and across categories, noting ways you could address student needs.

Prep: Low
In class: Medium Analysis: Medium

 

One-sentence summary

Students summarize knowledge of a topic by constructing a single sentence that answers the questions "Who does what to whom, when, where, how, and why?" The purpose is to require students to select only the defining features of an idea.

Evaluate the quality of each summary quickly and holistically. Note whether students have identified the essential concepts of the class topic and their interrelationships. Share your observations with your students.

Prep: Low
In class: Medium Analysis: Medium

Word journal

Students summarize their response to a short text or presentation with a single word, then write a paragraph explaining why they chose that word. This activity helps students to analyze and evaluate their own thinking on the topic.

Tally the words that are used by more than one student. Note the justifications your students give for their selections. Categorize word joumals by both selected words and explanations. Share the pattern of results with your students.

Prep: Low
In class: Medium Analysis: High

 

Application cards

After teaching about an important theory, principle, or procedure, ask students to write down at least one real-world application for what they have just leamed to determine how well they can transfer their learning.

Quickly read once through the applications and categorize them according to their quality. Pick out a broad range of examples and present them to the class.

Prep: Low
In class: Low
Analysis: Medium

 

Student-generated test questions

Allow students to write test questions and model answers for specified topics, in a format consistent with course exams. This will give students the opportunity to evaluate the course topics, reflect on what they understand, and what are good test items.

Make a rough tally of the questions your students propose and the topics that they cover. Evaluate the questions and use the goods ones as prompts for discussion. You may also want to revise the questions and use them on the upcoming exam.

Prep: Medium
In class: High
Analysis: High

(may be home-work)