Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Did They Catch That? The Need for Exit Tickets

By Rejoice MudzimiriContributing Editor, University of Washington Bothell

Last week Teaching Tidbits covered the Mid-Semester Evaluation, so now it is time to examine another tool that helps teachers assess class comprehension. We give you: the exit ticket.

What are Exit Tickets?
An exit ticket is an ungraded, short form of assessment administered at the end of class as students are “exiting” the classroom. Exit tickets help “to consolidate information and bring closure to the big ideas or concepts presented” during a lesson, according to the book Captivate, Activate, and Invigorate the Student Brain in Science and Math, Grades 6-12.

Using Exit Ticket Data 
Data from exit tickets can be analyzed for evidence of students’ mastery of the content objectives, helping instructors have a good sense of how well the lesson went. You can then use this information to adapt instruction to meet the needs of your students. In addition to the content specific questions such as, “What questions do you have about today’s lesson?” or “What would help make today’s lesson more effective?” gives students the opportunity to ask questions they might have not been able to ask during class. Although student names do not have to be on the exit ticket to make them a useful resource for the instructors, I have found that having students' names help me respond to individual questions when needed.

Designing Exit Tickets Questions for a Math Class 
  • To avoid the need for mathematical work, choose exit ticket questions that are multiple choice, true or false, short answer, or a couple of sentences in response to a question. 
  •  Since exit tickets should be completed within the last five minutes of class, it is important to keep the questions short. 
  • An average of 2 to 3 questions is advisable.

Examples of Lesson Objectives and Corresponding True/False Statements 
A good exit ticket should be aligned with the lesson objectives. The following are examples of objectives and corresponding true/false statements
  1. Objective: Find relative extrema of a continuous funciton using the first derivative test
    Examples of True/False Exit Ticket Statements
    • Every continuous function has at least one critical value.
    • If a continuous function y=f(x) has extrema, they will occur where f’(x)=0

  2. Objective: Classify the relative extrema of a function using the second derivative test.
    Examples of True/False Exit Ticket Statements
    • If f’(c)=0 and f”(c)>0, then f(c) is a relative minimum.
    • If f’(c) = 0 and f”(c)=0, then f(c) cannot be a relative minimum.
Administering Exit Tickets 
Exit tickets are typically administered the last five minutes of class. They can be printed or electronic versions that students can complete on their smartphones, tablet or laptop. For electronic version:
  • You can provide a link to the exit ticket on a class website.
  •  You can show your students the url to the exit ticket on board. 
  •  You can send an email to your students inviting them to complete the exit ticket.
Creating and Exit Tickets Using Google Forms
I find Google Forms an easy way to administer my exit tickets. If you are new to Google forms, there are several YouTube videos that offer tutorials on how to use Google forms. You can also use the Exit Ticket template available on Google forms or create your own.

Related Links:
Wiliam, D., Leahy, S. (2015). Embedded Formative Assessment. Practical Techniques for K-12 Classrooms. Learning Sciences International. West Palm Beach, FL

Almorade, J., Miller, A. M. (2013). Captivate, Activate and Invigorate the Student Brain in Science and Math: Grade 6 -12. Corwin, Thousand Oaks, CA

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