The 3-2-1 format is a quick reflective activity similar to think-pair-share. It encourages students to reflect on a course experience and organize their thoughts and identify areas of confusion or concern.
Similar to minute papers, muddiest point, and think-pair-share, the 3-2-1 Format can be a helpful tool for getting students to organize their thoughts, and promote reflection and metacognition. This activity provides an easy way to check for understanding and gauge student interest. It is also an effective way to promote discuss or review material.
This activity would traditionally be introduced toward the end of a lesson or after a lecture. It could also be used in response to an assigned reading.
In reaction to presented content, students are asked to take a few moments and jot down:
Students are then asked to share their ideas in pairs or small groups. Use the responses to help guide teaching decisions. Consider areas of curriculum that need to be reviewed again or specific concepts or activities that are most interesting for students.
3-2-1 Format could easily be adapted into an online discussion board activity.
Polling is a quick way to determine if students have grasped an essential content piece. It allows you to help students differentiate between almost-correct information and fully correct information. Discussion following the poll and using the results can be a useful teaching technique.
Polling can be a helpful tool for getting students to engage their thoughts and course material. This activity provides an easy way to check for understanding and gauge student interest. It is also an effective way to promote discuss or review material.
This activity can introduce a lecture portion as a pre-work check-in or periodically through the lecture to give a break in activities or to promote discussion of results. For example "why did you choose this result?" or "Look at these results statistically. What is working about this poll and makes it useful in other contexts? What is not working about this poll and makes it less useful?"
In reaction to presented content, students are asked to use technology to interact with material using a platform such as Kahoot. The instructor pre-loads questions and pulls them up at the appropriate moment.
Students are then asked to complete the poll. Following the poll, the instructor can comment on the results or have students engage theresults. Instructors can also use the responses to help guide teaching decisions. Consider areas of curriculum that need to be reviewed again or specific concepts or activities that are most interesting for students.
This activity provides an observable action of the student’s patterns of understanding related to a central idea or concept. Concept mapping serves several purposes:
Concept maps require a lot of cognitive work on the part of the student, and a lot of preparation and analysis on the part of the instructor. Be sure you have tested the concept map activity yourself and given the class the appropriate amount of time to complete the activity. Usually this means twice the amount of time it took you, the expert, to complete. This activity is useful in any course with high theoretical content, courses with large amounts of facts and principles.
Memory Matrix is a simple, two-dimensional table divided into rows and columns. The table is used to organize information and identify relationships in the content. Some cells in the table are intentionally left blank where students are asked to fill in the blank cells, demonstrating their understanding of the content. There is moderate investment of time required on behalf of faculty to create the matrix and then analyze the results.
The technique provides a structure for students to organize and synthesize complicated information. This exercise works well with large amounts of content and can simplify complex, dynamic systems of information. Faculty can identify prior or incorrect knowledge.
Memory matrix is simple to implement and easy to use during instruction however there is some up-front preparation that must be completed. Consider content carefully. Content needs to appropriately align with column and row organization. This exercise is effective after lectures, videos, reading assignments, etc.
1. Carefully choose your content topic. Make sure the content can be organized in a table with rows and columns.
2. Create a simple matrix. Make one completed matrix to use as a key. This will make the analysis much easier. Also create a blank matrix for students to fill in.
3. Explain the purpose of the exercise.
4. Let students know how much time they will have, what kinds of responses you are looking for (words, bullets, short sentences), and when they can expect feedback.
5. Handout blank or partially filled matrix. Have students work on in class, individually or in groups. Provide practice matrices or examples if this is the first time you are presenting a memory matrix.
6. Students complete the matrix and hand-in.
7. Review and analyze results
8. Provide feedback and clear misconceptions at next class meeting
Angelo, T.A. and Cross, K. P. (1993). Classroom assessment techniques. 2nd ed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
MGH Institute of Health Professions. Faculty and staff. Examples of classroom assessment techniques.