Get Them Taking Notes

I was talking with Marc Ditty about some best practices recently. We were discussing how offering small quizzes, early and often, can help us to take the temperature of a class…note how they’re doing so far, etc. We both shared that our students are not allowed to use notes on these quizzes.

We examined this policy a bit further, and came to the realization that allowing notes on quizzes really has some merit. The main (likely) positive outcomes to allowing students to use notes on quizzes include:

  • Opportunities for students to experience success — This is potentially encouraging and motivational.
  • Students see obvious value in taking good notes, making them more likely to be engaged in this process going forward.

I’m going to make this change and try it out this semester. It may seem minor, or even commonsensical, but if it makes even a slight difference, it will have been worth the small effort.

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