Getting students to assess their own learning

[1 Structure your learning around Learning Outcomes and Learning Objectives]

Provide opportunities for learners to find out if they have learnt – allow students to assess their own learning, regularly and meaningfully.

  • Online multi-choice are good for both F2F and online students. See here for tips on writing good MC questions.
  • Think – Pair – Share
    1. The instructor states an open-ended question.
    2. Individual students spent a minute or two to think about and write a response.
    3. Students are directed to pair up with a partner to discuss their responses.

The instructor reconvenes the class after a few minutes and calls on individual students to share the pair’s responses.

Think-Pair-Share encourages students to develop their own responses before discussing, and then allows students to compare responses before they are public, which can greatly facilitate participation, especially for risk-averse students. Additionally, calling on individual students (instead of asking for volunteers) in the final step demonstrates that all students are individually accountable, even in large classes.

writing on paperOne minute papers/Muddiest point

At the end of class or just before a break, the instructor asks either: “What are the two most important points from today’s session?” or “What was the muddiest point from today’s session? What would make the material clearer for you?” Students have 1-2 minutes to write brief responses which are turned in anonymously as they leave. The instructor addresses student responses either during the next class or online. This technique encourages students to reflect and question their learning.


Peer Instruction

During class, the instructor pauses and asks students a conceptual question. Students are given a few minutes to think about the question, and then give answers. Then, students spend a few minutes talking about their answers in small groups, attempting to come to the correct conclusion. Students are then asked to answer again.

For more classroom techniques see