Teach the Earth > Introductory Courses > Activities > Using IF-AT Based Questions to Reinforce Lectures

Using IF-AT Based Questions to Reinforce Lectures

Kent Kirkby
University of Minnesota
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This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Reviewed Teaching Collection

This activity has received positive reviews in a peer review process involving five review categories. The five categories included in the process are

  • Scientific Accuracy
  • Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
  • Pedagogic Effectiveness
  • Robustness (usability and dependability of all components)
  • Completeness of the ActivitySheet web page

For more information about the peer review process itself, please see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.

This activity has benefited from input from faculty educators beyond the author through a review and suggestion process. This review took place as a part of a faculty professional development workshop where groups of faculty reviewed each others' activities and offered feedback and ideas for improvements. To learn more about the process On the Cutting Edge uses for activity review, see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.

This page first made public: Jun 25, 2008


Short sets of multiple-choice questions with IF-AT scratch off answer keys are used to reinforce lecture by generating peer discussion and instruction.

Used this activity? Share your experiences and modifications



I use this type of exercise in an introductory physical geology course for non-majors, but the basic idea can be used in basically any course.

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

Students have only listened to lecture presentation of concepts, these exercises simply provide an opportunity for students to work in small groups to apply those concepts to different situations and have access to immediate feedback as to their accuracy.

How the activity is situated in the course

This is one type of activity designed to integrate more active learning activities with lecture instruction.


Content/concepts goals for this activity

Specific concepts and content vary by topic, but questions used should address higher order thinking skill rather than simple memorization or regurgitation.

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Goal is to get students to work with one another to apply basic concepts to different situations. Peer instruction, increased engagement in course, and a focus on understanding concepts, rather than memorizing material, are all exercise objectives.

Other skills goals for this activity

Description of the activity/assignment

Short sets of multiple choice questions that require students to apply course concepts to new situations or circumstances are used as an active learning exercise in lecture settings. Answer keys in the form of IF-AT scratch-off sheets are provided so students have instant feedback once their group has decided on an answer.

Determining whether students have met the goals

Performance on similar quiz questions measures the exercises' efficacy in improving student understanding and skills. Student responses on evaluations and class surveys are used to measure its ability to engage students in course activities.

More information about assessment tools and techniques.

Download teaching materials and tips

Other Materials

Supporting references/URLs

Examples of, and information about ordering, IF-AT Immediate Feedback Assessment Technique sheets can be found at Epstein Educational Enterprises