Using CATs to Assess Learning and Adjust Instruction

Before and After Muddiest Points:

As much as we don’t like to admit it, there are many times that content that seems perfectly clear to the instructor is as “clear as mud” to the student. One thing that I have found helpful is the “Muddiest Point” CAT. Students are expected to come prepared for class: reading, case study, etc. This allows us to make the classroom more active as we collaborate through discussion of the case studies and worksheets. As engaging as this is, there are still times that students find portions of the pre-work confusing. This makes it difficult for them to fully participate during class.

I have found it helpful for students to come to class with their “Muddiest Point.” This allows students to anonymously write down the area needing clarification (avoiding having to ask the question in front of others) and it allows me to identify themes that help direct my teaching. I can then focus instruction on these areas without wasting precious class time on areas that students understand.

Following instruction, I ask students to again write down their “Muddiest Point.” I can then use these to further clarify during the following class. Often times, I have found that the student has found clarification.

One thought on “Using CATs to Assess Learning and Adjust Instruction

  1. Great idea — although, I find it ironic in this age of social media that some students are reluctant to ask a question for fear of judgement by others; nevertheless, it is still a reality. Written or posed in the classroom, one good question is worth a thousand answers.

    Life is messy my friend, come walk with me in the mud.

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