“Do not forget the child in the assessment”
The Minute Paper or the One Minute Paper is a technique that teachers can use to assess their own teaching and student learning. The Minute Paper can be introduced at any time during your class time (Davis, Wood, & Wilson, 1983). It can be used at the start, in the middle or at the end of the class. Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATS) are informal quick prompts that valuable student feedback (Angelo and Cross, 1998). The strategy was originally developed by a physics professor at the University of California, Berkeley A few that are easy to implement:
- The Minute Paper
- The Muddiest Point
- One Sentence Summary
- Application Cards
If used at the end of the class, it provides a good real time feedback to the teacher on how the lesson was received by the students. Leaving a couple of minutes at the end of the class would be enough to deploy this strategy.
The Steps for using Minute Paper
When to use it. What do you wish to measure? What prompts will get you this information
Incorporate the technique into your classroom teaching, collect and collate the data.
Analyse the data. How can this data would inform teaching strategy? Close the loop by sharing the outcomes with your student.
The minute paper according to Angelo and Cross (1993), should have one or two specific questions that you would like answered. Don’t let them be generic and not something that does not give you any measurable indicator. Therefore, first decide what is that you wish to evaluate and then accordingly frame your question. Remember to share the outcome of your analysis with the students for them to understand the value of the activity.
Sample questions that can be asked are; What did you understand clearly today and can therefore teach someone else? What was the Muddiest point of the class today? What was the most important concept taught today? Remember to use one or at the max two questions in your Minute Paper.
It is important to first understand what is it that is being measured? What kind of questions will get us that data? Which aspect of the teaching is being focused upon? The following categories could help structure the questions to address student learning.
- What was the most interesting thing that you learnt today?
- If you were to write the headline for today’s class, what would that be? (Headline routine: Visible Learning)
- What was the most surprising nugget of today’s class?
- What is the ‘burning question’ that remains unanswered from today’s class?
- What was that one concept that you need to read more about?
- What was that one example used or activity done in class that helped you understand the class better today?
- What was that most important piece of information or strategy from today’s class that you would like to implement immediately?
- In your opinion, what was the most convincing argument presented today?
- Did any opinion or argument presented today made you feel uncomfortable?
- What idea presented today strongly influenced your beliefs?
- Were the examples used today strongly presented the concepts?
- In your opinion did the classroom teaching strongly supported your learning?
- Can you connect what you learnt today with your previous knowledge? Explain the connection in one sentence or a diagram.
- How does what you learnt today connect with what you have learnt in another subject? Explain in one sentence.
Analysis and Synthesis
- Can you list the learning outcome of this class?
- Can you construct one MCQ question from what you learnt today?
- Can you construct one essay type question from what you learnt in today’s class?
Notes and References
- Angelo, T. A. and K.P. Cross (1993). Classroom Assessment Techniques
- Cross, K. P., & Angelo, T. A. (1988). Classroom assessment techniques: A handbook for faculty.
- Davis, B. G., Wood, L., & Wilson, R. C. (1983). ABCs of teaching with excellence. Berkeley:University of California.