Classroom Assessment Techniques (also known as CATs) are excellent methods of learning whether your students are getting out of your lectures and assignments what you expect or need and evaluating your teaching. Here are some great CAT resources ...
Name Description What to do with the data Time required
Minute paper 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
Chain Notes Students pass around an envelope on which the teacher has written one question about the class. When the envelope reaches a student he/she spends a moment to respond to the question and then places the response in the envelope. Go through the student responses and determine the best criteria for categorizing the data with the goal of detecting response patterns. Discussing the patterns of responses with students can lead to better teaching and learning. Prep: Low
In class: Low
Analysis: Low
Memory matrix Students fill in cells of a two-dimensional diagram for which 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: Med
In class: Med
Analysis: Med
Directed paraphrasing 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: Med
Analysis: Med
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: Med
Analysis: Med
Exam Evaluations Select a type of test that you are likely to give more than once or that has a significant impact on student performance. Create a few questions that evaluate the quality of the test. Add these questions to the exam or administer a separate, follow-up evaluation. Try to distinguish student comments that address the fairness of your grading from those that address the fairness of the test as an assessment instrument. Respond to the general ideas represented by student comments. Prep: Low
In class: Low
Analysis: Med
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 learned 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: Med
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: Med
In class: High
Analysis: High

(may be homework)