Writing Questions about the Reading: A Formative Assessment Technique

The article cited below describes an assignment in an upper-division, large-lecture biochemistry course that has students generate questions about the readings. The assignment is worth about 5 percent of the course grade. The goal was to develop a formative assessment strategy that “would successfully (1) elicit responses from the majority of students, not just the most vocal, and (2) reveal the full range of student ideas, thereby providing a more robust picture of the class as a whole.” (p. 31) When students generate questions (in this case about the reading), they “reveal both how they think about a topic, as well as the ways in which they make connections between topics as they extend upon and construct new knowledge.” (p. 31)

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