Exit tickets go digital

Higher Education

Aleksandra Perisic
by Aleksandra Perisic
Exit tickets go digital

Many teachers and lecturers find exit tickets are a great safety valve at the end of a lecture or class. They monitor whether students have fully grasped the topic – and at what depth. In this way they provide a weather check on understanding and indicate what needs to be covered at a subsequent session, so helping with lecture planning.  They usually take the form of a series of short, open-ended or multiple choice questions or a quick quiz.

It’s a good concept as it prevents lecturers charging ahead and leaving students behind. It’s also inclusive, making sure that every student participates. Plus, it offers an incentive to students to concentrate, as they know that they will be tested at the end of the lecture – and if they concentrate, they are more likely to retain the knowledge for longer.

But there is a snag. The whole process of distributing sheets of paper, collecting, assessing and feeding back results is cumbersome and, let’s face it, seems a little old-fashioned. So how can the idea of exit tickets be translated into something more streamlined?

Here are a few tips:

  1. Consider using an app such as Vevox. The lecturer creates questions using the app dashboard and, having downloaded the free app, students vote for their answer using their mobile phones, or tablets or via the web.

  2. Keep questions short and focused, emphasising the main points of the day’s lesson.

  3. Give students a maximum of two to three minutes only per question to answer.

  4. If using Vevox, students can also ask any questions they may still have about the lesson, through a messaging feature.

  5. Download the result report and use the correct answer feature to measure understanding.

  6. Start the next lecture or lesson with a graph or chart demonstrating polling results or common errors to give continuity.

  7. You may even wish to arrange extra teaching for any students who don’t understand a concept or create extensions to reading lists/assignments for those who do to keep them engaged.

This way there’s no paper to distribute and collect, all the counting and assessing are automatic and lecturers have a record of learning levels too.  Also, all the evidence shows that students actually like working this way – which of course means greater participation and co-operation and half the battle is won already.
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