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Want to get your students involved and generate tons of feedback? Garvey describes how you can use an active learning technique called the Minute Paper to do this.
Hey, got a minute? Welcome to the this quick edition of Teaching & Learning Matters. I am Dr. Garvey Pyke, and I call this a quick edition because we are talking about something called the Minute Paper. While I do not think I can tell it all in one minute, exactly, I will do my best to be fleet.
In the 1993 book, Classroom Assessment Techniques, Angelo and Cross describe a quick and easy way to get a ton of feedback from your students. Although this is an assessment technique, it is also an active learning technique in the sense that it gets everyone involved and can be expressly used for this purpose.
Just as the name implies, you are asking your students to get out a pen and a sheet of paper and to write for 60 seconds on a given topic. Voila, the Minute Paper! You can do this at the beginning of class, the end of class, or somewhere in the middle. It can be anonymous, or not. You can ask about course content, difficult concepts, or how the class is going for them. You can ask what they hope is not on the test, or what they hope is. You are only limited by your imagination.
Even if you have large classes, you can easily whip through these papers in no time at all. Look for trends or themes to emerge, and you can address them either individually or with the class as a whole during the next class session.
Think you have got it? Simple to set up, minimal time cost, almost zero monetary cost. The results? Tons of feedback. It will give you insights into your class that you had never dreamed of, or it may confirm what you have already suspected. Either way, give it a try and see what happens.
If you have any questions or want to learn more about this or other teaching techniques, please stop by the Center for Teaching and Learning at UNC Charlotte, and we will talk about strategies that fit your style, your students’ needs, and your subject area.
Thanks for listening, and please tune in next time.
Until then, so long, and remember: Teaching and Learning Matters.
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