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Planning of teaching based on the students

Brief description

For this exercise you prepare a short questionnaire which focuses on a specific topic or a text to be used in the teaching session. As part of their preparation work, the students must answer this questionnaire. The exercise helps to ensure that their understanding of a given topic or text is activated and challenged.

Motivation for the exercise and required outcome

The students' answers to the questionnaire will give you an insight into their understanding of a given topic or text. This helps you plan your teaching, taking into account the students’ particular difficulties and their already acquired knowledge. At the same time, the exercise invites the students to consider actively their own comprehension of a text or topic, which may help optimise their preparation for the teaching session.

Performing the exercise

  • You must prepare a short questionnaire. You may design the questionnaire as a multiple choice questionnaire or a quiz or give students the opportunity to write free text. The following questions may be used as inspiration, replacing x by the topic in question:

    • Explain what you understand by x?

    • What is your experience of working with x? (You may give examples).

    • Which other topic in the syllabus is particularly relevant for x?

  • You may circulate the questionnaire to the students during a teaching session or send it to them as part of their activities between sessions.

    • It is a good idea to ask them to answer the questionnaire one to two weeks before your teaching session on the topic. This gives you time to process the students’ responses.

  • You should process and read the students’ responses before planning your teaching on the topic in question. Based the responses, you may now organise your teaching, taking into account the knowledge your students are lacking or any misunderstandings you have discovered.

  • In the teaching session, you begin by introducing the students’ understanding of the topic, based on their responses. Then you begin your own presentation and teaching of the topic in question, providing a perspective on the students’ understanding in the process.

Variation options:

  • Following your presentation, you may ask the students to reflect on their own understanding of the topic in question. Has their understanding changed and how? You may ask the students to spend ten minutes discussing this with the person sitting next to them.
  • ● If you are an expert in the topic, you may, as an introduction to the lecture on the topic, ask the students to complete a quiz or questionnaire directly in the classroom and possibly show the answers live in your presentation. Refer to the students’ answers or questions during your lecture on the topic.

You will need:

  • A questionnaire with relevant questions that you want the students to address. Create the questionnaire in Blackboard or read more about the use of quizzes and questionnaires..

Worth considering:

  • Why would you like to have information about the students’ pre-understanding of this particular topic?
  • Which concrete questions would you like them to answer regarding their pre-understanding of the topic?
  • Should the students answer the questionnaire at home or in class?