Chewbacca hanging upside down looking confused

The Muddiest Point and the Clearest Point


Activity aim: to find out what students find unclear; to have students (themselves) reflect on what they do and don’t understand

Materials needed: You can require students to bring notecards or provide them yourself, or you can just have one student tear a piece of paper in half and give the other half to a peer.

Activity description:

1:  Ask students to write two things on a notecard or a half-sheet of paper: the clearest point (from the lecture, from last night’s reading, etc.) and the “muddiest” point (the most difficult to understand)

2:  You can make this function as a quiz. You could also count it as participation or use it to take attendance.

3:  If you do this at the end of class, you can use the questions as a way to start class during the next session. Or you could generate a list of “muddiest points” for students to discuss in groups and then conduct some whole class feedback. Or, if you’re teaching a hybrid, you can address the “muddiest points” in an annotatable VOCAT video, for example, and have students annotate it with any further questions.

This is a quick, easy, and effective way to elicit feedback and questions from a group of students who don’t ask many questions. It can also be a good way to break up the dynamic a bit if you have a student who is particularly vocal (and who might not give other students a chance to get a word in), or if you need a way to check in with your hybrid students between class sessions.

Image cred: JD Hancock

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