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 gaps in necessary knowledge.
CATs are designed to help teachers discover what students are learning or not learning in the classroom. Do not 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. Try a CAT today!
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 emerging 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
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 minute paper to the instructor.
Ask one or two questions using a survey tool that the students can access.