Friday, June 16, 2017

Focus on Formative Assessment: Exit Pass

Image result for exit pass
The exit pass or exit ticket is a versatile and easy method of checking for student understanding. When explicitly connected to the learning target/objective for the lesson (strongly advised) it gives the teacher a quick means of assessment.

How to use: As with formative assessments generally, the exit pass is an ungraded check. Toward the end of the lesson or transition time, students are given a slip of scratch paper, an index card, or a special 'exit ticket' (many versions are easily found on Google image).

I have found that the more 'scratch' the piece of paper is, the less pressure students feel from the exercise, and the less attached they are to the 'work'--there is no need to correct and return these to students. This helps to make checking for understanding a low-key, routine part of the class. Exit passes are not 'events' to be prepared for--they are simply a way for teachers to check on student understanding.

Students are given a few minutes to complete the task, and then hand the exit pass to the teacher on the way to their next class or transition. In my high school classes, it is literally their exit ticket--the student doesn't leave until I get a completed exit pass from them.

Typically the questions are brief, connecting as much as possible to the heart of the lesson, the learning target. The tasks range from simple factual recall (e.g. 'what were the five causes of the French Revolution?' to more involved (e.g. 'if you were writing a quiz over today's material, what two questions would you include?'). Exit passes can seek to do a variety of tasks, using a 3-2-1 format: students write 3 main points, 2 connections to previous learning, and 1 question. A 3-2-1 format not only checks for student recall of the basic information (3 main points) but also can help to bring up questions students may have been reluctant to ask. They can ask for students to reflect on their learning, and even to ask for any help they think they or class needs.

Exit passes are generally quickly reviewed by the teacher and then recycled (at least here in Oregon), but occasionally a teacher may want to copy a few excellent questions for further discussion or to review the next lesson. Typically, exit passes are looked at for patterns of misunderstanding. Are there a few students who missed something that needs to be addressed with them individually? Is there something that a significant part of the class is unclear on, and so needs to be reviewed or retaught?  A quick look at the exit passes will reveal these potential problems.

For more examples of exit pass questions, see the blog post below:

Formative Assessment from Hand Signals to Harkness Discussions

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