Checking Student Understanding

Regular checks for understanding are essential but don’t simply ask, “Are there any questions?”

You could have students write questions on a sticky note that they place on their desks, or you could have them use hand signals to demonstrate their level of comprehension. For example, you could ask them to use a thumbs up, to the side, or down motion to indicate their level of comprehension of a particular concept.

You can also try providing choice for how learners provide feedback by using a technique from expressive arts where you change modalities many times to deepen understanding.

For example:

  • Express your new understanding in Haiku form or in a three to five-line poem or song.
  • Draw a comic that represents your new understanding.
  • Tweet your new understanding using the course hashtag.
  • Write a short (one-paragraph) reflection about your new understanding.
  • Write a script for a short infomercial about the work you have done.
  • Choreograph and perform an interpretative dance about your process of learning. “Universally Designed Leadership; Applying UDL to Systems and Schools” by Katie Novak and Kristan Rodriguez, CAST, 2016.
  • Create a concept map showing how key ideas relate to each other.
  • Use materials, images or artifacts from class to create a descriptive collage.

You get the idea – the options are endless 🙂 Check out our Assessment Bank for more ideas on how to check for understanding during and at the end of lessons or check out the book Classroom Assessment Techniques: A Handbook for College Teachers .

Reference

“Universally Designed Leadership; Applying UDL to Systems and Schools” by Katie Novak and Kristan Rodriguez, CAST, 2016.