At a Glance


  • STEM
  • Engineering

Instructional Level

  • University


  • Materials Engineering

Tasks in Workflow

Social Plane(s)

  • Individual

Type of Tasks

  • Writing

Technical Details

Class size

  • Very Large (>250)


  • Single class period (< 90 mins)

Instructional Purpose

  • Assessment & knowledge refinement


The aim of this activity is to assess student understanding of concepts and facts related to course material and to gain student feedback about the course or instructor’s performance. This activity is actually intended survey or polling tool for the professor to gauge understanding and get feedback in the moment.

At the end of the lecture, students are asked a question. This question can be pre-made but tends to be improvised based on the lecture.

The types of questions posed are as follows:

  • Reviewing a concept just discussed in class (can be a problem that has to be solved)
  • Discussing a concept or fact in the lecture that was unclear
  • Receiving student feedback on course material, approaches, strategies, the instructor’s performance, etc.

Students have a few minutes at the end of the class to answer the problem on a piece of scrap paper and then hand it in to the instructor. This activity is done anonymously, handing in the answer is not required, and it is not graded.

The instructor reviews all of the submitted answers before the next class; if the question was based on:

  • A concept, she tabulates the percentage of correct and incorrect answers
  • A concept that was unclear, she will prep a quick lesson for the beginning of the class to clarify misconceptions

Course material, approaches, strategies or her performance, she uses the feedback to adjust how the courses is run or what she is doing

At the beginning of the next class, the instructor reviews the piece of paper question; if the question was based on:

  • A concept, she shows the students the percentage of correct and incorrect answers, goes over some of the student answers and reviews why the answers were wrong or right
  • A concept that was unclear, she will do a quick lesson to clarify misconceptions

This activity was used in a class of 100 students.

Instructional Objectives

To receive student feedback on course material, approaches, strategies, the instructor’s performance etc..

To test the knowledge and understanding of the course concepts or facts.

Workflow & Materials


Activity Workflow

View on CourseFlow

Contributor's Notes

Marta Cerruti

Marta Cerruti

McGill University, Montreal


The instructor can get an idea of what the class is understanding and also any misconceptions the students may have. The instructor can also get a feel for what the class likes and dislikes in terms of how class should be run, teaching techniques etc. before the final evaluation at the end of the semester.


At the beginning of the course, students seem to be keen to answer the Piece of Paper Question but as the semester goes on, there is less participation; perhaps the students get busy during the semester or they want to leave to get to their next class.


This activity is used as a surveying tool for content-based questions or for instant feedback on your teaching from the students. Do not read every paper in great detail, just a quick read to get the general idea is good enough (10 to 15 minutes of review).

Applied Strategies


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