Exit Tickets. Fad or Fantastic?

Exit tickets have become a buzz word in education recently, but are they useful and are we using them correctly?

Are they useful?

Assessment for Learning is all about us, as teachers, knowing what students have learnt and understood so we can move on to the next idea, without fear that some students will not be able to grasp it. This immediate feedback loop is vital if we are to support students correctly and therefore, should happen constantly within the classroom setting and not just be at the end of a lesson or end of a topic. Exit Tickets are just one method of AfL, in particular, whether the class did not get the objective of the lesson and this will inform the class teacher to rethink the lesson and maybe return to the objective in another way to improve understanding. Harry Fletcher-Wood describes this brilliantly in his blog ‘Using exit tickets to assess and plan‘, where he explains how they should be used as to check the learning of the desired objective. The one thing they should not be used for is checking whether students understood the objective. At the end of a lesson any students demonstrating that they can remember what went on during the last hour is doing just that remembering the last hour, all the recall is has context and recency.

So how should we be using them?

Jo Morgan’s presentation on AfL, neatly sums up the process that the teacher should take when using exit tickets, in that they should only be used to inform the planning for the next lesson. They should not be used as evidence of learning for a later stage. Like all AfL, the feedback is for the teacher, not necessarily the students.

My personal favourite for simple exit tickets are Craig Barton’s Diagnostic Questions. There can be displayed and students answer online, or on paper. They can also be printed out so students can answer them. A quick look though the answers will inform the teacher very quickly. Also, using the insights on the platform has hundreds or even thousands of misconceptions to questions, which can really help with planning lessons. I find these easier to use than some of the exam question styles as, with these, there are more potential misconceptions that I might miss.

I have added links to the White Rose Diagnostic Questions on my Schemes of Learning, as well as creating Desmos activities and PDFs, if colleagues want hard copies.


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