Why wait for semester-end evaluations to gather potentially useful information on student learning since it is often collected too late to help the students in your current semester. You can do it all semester long using Classroom Assessment Techniques!
As a teacher, you might assume that the course content, readings and lectures have left the students knowing what you wanted them to know — only to find out later that students did not learn what you wanted them to learn. By having the students complete a Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs) immediately after the session, module or section, it helps reinforce the material you taught. It also uncovers gaps in understanding before it is too late and students get left behind or have unintentional gaps in necessary knowledge. CATs are designed to help teachers discover what students are learning or not learning in the classroom.
Ask the students what was the ‘muddiest’ or most confusing concept in the class, the lecture, the topic or module. The Muddiest point CAT is a great way for you to see what concepts the students need additional help on.
Traditional class applications
Give all students a half sheet of blank paper and a few minutes to complete this activity at the end of class. If there is a common theme use just in time training to send a video explanation, an email or spend time at the beginning of the next class to reteach, discuss.
Online course applications
This is good CAT for online classes because you cannot ‘see’ the student’s body language to get a real feel on how they are learning.
Start a discussion board topic and allow the students to respond. Choose if the students will respond with their names or anonymously. Request peers to comment on 1-2 other posts sharing their insights on the topic.
Have the student e-mail the muddiest point answer to the instructor.