LTC: Knowledge Surveys: Classroom Assessment Made Simple – and Fun

Carleton College Learning and Teaching Center, Carleton College Learning and Teaching Center

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Karl Wirth, Associate Professor of Geology, Macalester College

Ask yourself: Do you know where your students are? Yes, of course, they are physically present during your class periods. But do you know how much they already know about the topics you plan to cover today or tomorrow? Would it change the level of your discussions or the pace of your teaching if you did know?

Knowledge surveys are easy classroom assessment tools, designed to find out what your students already know and what concepts they have trouble with. They are also excellent ways to increase student interest in the material you are presenting and discussing. They can be used at the beginning of a course or at multiple points throughout the term. Knowledge surveys are applicable to all disciplines; this site discusses their use in geoscience classes, but also links to articles from several other fields:

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