General Characteristics of CATs:
Examples of Questions You Might Address with a CAT:
Examples of CATs:
Minute paper — Pose 1-2 questions in which students identify the most significant things they have learned from a given lecture, discussion or assignment. The question can be very general or content specific and their answers help you to determine if they are successfully identifying what you view as most important. Give students about 1-2 minutes and ask them to write a response on an index card or no longer than half a page.
Muddiest Point — Similar to the Minute Paper, ask your students to answer: “What was the muddiest point in . . . (today’s lecture, the reading, the homework)?” Students need to identify fairly quickly what they do not understand and articulate it.
Background Knowledge Probes — Create a short questionnaire to determine how much and what kind of relevant background knowledge students bring to your course. Your goal might be to identify what is familiar to them or determining their level of recall from prior related courses. Be sure to make the questionnaire anonymous and be clear that it is not a quiz and will not be graded.
Problem Recognition Tasks – Identify a set of problems which can clearly be solved better by one of a few methods that you are teaching in the class. Ask students to identify by name which methods best fit which problems without actually solving the problems. This task works best when only one method can be used for each of the problems.
From Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence, Carnegie Mellon University