Exit Cards are effective formative assessment tools that provide teachers and students with important feedback on every student’s progress and readiness levels. Teachers need information about each student’s progress on an ongoing basis so that they can make those all important adjustments to either their own teaching or to the intervention they might employ for particular students. Students themselves, need the information garnered from Exit Cards so that they can monitor their own progress and make decisions about what they need to do to meet their targets.
For these reasons then, Exit Cards are very powerful assessment tools. Used regularly, even daily, they can keep the teaching-learning flow going in the classroom. They teach students to self-monitor and to take responsibility for their learning. They inform instruction so that the teacher can always address the learning needs of all students in the classroom. Exit Cards make Differentiated Instruction, Personalized Learning, Student Engagement, and Student-Centred Learning all possible.
What does an Exit Card look like?
Simply put, an exit card poses questions: about a lesson, a concept, or about how well the student understands the concepts.
The questions could ask students to recall something they have learned; to reflect on their learning; to apply the learning to something new; to make a comparison to a similar concept; to offer a personal opinion on the concept; etc…Students complete the Exit Card at the end of a lesson as they ‘exit’ the classroom. Alternatively, they could complete the Exit Card online in the evening in a google form, or TodaysMeet, or Tweet, or….
Using Exit Cards
Of course these collections of Exit Cards are only effective if the data is collected and used (by teacher and by students). Follow up is necessary. The teacher might make modifications to teaching and activities that respond to the needs, strengths, and readiness levels revealed in the Exit Cards. The student will be expected to make modifications too.
Creating Exit Cards
Once you get in the routine of creating Exit Cards you will see that it is very easy to come up with the ‘questions’ and you will be encouraged by how much more you know about your student’s learning. You might even ask students to get in on the act and create Exit Cards. Here are some suggestions as to what you might do:
print the questions on an actual card, hence the name ‘exit card’
post the question on the whiteboard or ppt slide
post the question on a google form, TodaysMeet, Facebook, wiki forum, or in a Tweet (bear in mind that the entire class will see these comments)
devote an entire whiteboard space to the Exit Cards and have students create a ‘Graffiti wall’ of responses as they exit. Be sure to take a picture of the result!
Have students enter the comments in a particular space electronically and then create a Word Cloud (This is a beautiful piece of art/poster for the classroom!)
Questions you might Use:
What is ONE thing you learned today that you are sure about? What is ONE thing you are not so sure about?
On a scale of 1-5, with 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest, rate your understanding of the concept (or rate your participation in today’s class). Have fun with the ‘scale’; I saw one teacher use a scale of 0 to 2 Pi during a unit on trigonometric graphs.
Something I know well is….; Something I am muddy about is…
What was one thing you enjoyed in class today?
Give a real life example of _____ (content from the lesson)
Sample Exit Cards
I have asked teachers from Taylor’s College to share some of their Exit Cards and will be adding a page to this blog to share those. Email me your suggestions and I will post them there.