It’s that time of the semester where our students look to us, seeking guidance and reassurance that they’re on track to get their desired grade. However, most are oblivious to the fact that this works both ways (at least it should), and that we as instructors, also look to them for advice and ideas on how we can be better – it’s a team effort! Now, as I write this article I feel I might be late to the game on this particular activity, and shame on you all for keeping it a secret from me – I just tried the ‘Entrance and Exit Ticket’ method and consider it to have been an absolute success!
For the few who don’t know, an entry and exit ticket is usually in the form of an index card that is handed to students as they enter the classroom. At the end of the lesson, students must submit a completed card in order to leave. On the card students are required to provide feedback on the class in the form of a short sentence of paragraph depending on the instructions. It’s a really simple idea that makes for good classroom practice and the inclusion of some form of formative assessment halfway through the semester (if not after each unit). Check out Brown’s website for more information http://brown.edu/about/administration/sheridan-center/teaching-learning/effective-classroom-practices/entrance-exit-tickets
After my first attempt implementing the method, I was able to quickly group 40 ideas together and develop five clear action items that can be implemented before the end of the semester. I think part of the success was down to the prompts used to solicit feedback, and after receiving some suggestions from my colleagues, I’ve been able to identify five tactics that I will forever now utilize when administering this class assessment strategy.
ENTRY and EXIT Ticketing:
- Identify a clear question to prompt a desired response: We want to avoid this exercise being interpreted as an opportunity to throw out a list of unconstructive feedback. The goal is to make the second part of the semester better – so you need ideas! Phrase the question in a way that will lead to an actionable item. Here was my question:
- How might the instructor improve this class for the second part of the semester? Share one idea.
- Remember it’s a team effort: This is an opportunity for you to challenge your students to self-reflect and identify ways they might improve their learning experience.
- How might I improve my experience in this class during the second part of the semester? Share one idea.
- Challenge students to keep the suggestions to one sentence. This requires them to really focus on communicating the idea as opposed to listing all the examples where you failed. When you see a student ask for a second card you know they’re probably writing too much – if the students got a lot to say connect with them afterwards and ask them to share two other ideas that didn’t make the cut.
- When reviewing tickets, start by grouping the index cards into categories, for example, ‘content’, ‘discussions’, ‘activities’ etc. Once you have completed this process identify an actable item for each group.
- Share your results with the class, and be sure to demonstrate how the items will be integrated into the second part of the semester, or following course, though the latter kind of defeats the objective of the activity.