How To Use Exit Tickets To Improve Your Teaching: 6 Tips
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Exit tickets are a widely used teaching tool. Collecting feedback from students is a powerful way to understand what has stuck, and where they might need further support. But exit tickets can be used for more than just on-the-fly formative assessment.
Here we share 6 tips to help you get more from your exit tickets.
1. Go beyond class content
Exit tickets are great for understanding if students have grasped a topic. But you can ask more than a specific lesson-based question.
Here are four types of questions you should use with exit tickets.
In addition to lesson specific questions, you can also ask broad questions to check comprehension. Some example questions include:
- What is one thing you’d like me to explain more clearly?
- What was the most important thing you learned in today’s class?
- What is the most difficult question you have about what you learned today?
Reviewing the answers to these questions will help you understand where further time should be spent and guide your lesson plans.
Student wellbeing can have a significant impact on learning outcomes.
Asking the right questions can help uncover issues as they arise. It also opens the possibility of solving issues before there is an impact on learning.
Example questions include:
- What’s one thing outside of school that you love doing?
- How do you feel about your workload right now?
- What helps you to get in a good mood when you’re feeling down?
Reflecting on learning is a powerful tool in aiding comprehension and memory. Using exit tickets to prompt student reflection is an easy and timely way to get students to reprocess information.
Example questions include:
- What part of the lesson surprised you?
- The top 3 ideas I remember from today’s lesson are…
- If you were creating a quiz about today’s lesson, what are 2 questions you’d include?
Getting to know students can help them feel more comfortable in the classroom and encourage positive behaviour.
Example questions include:
- What’s one skill you have that makes you unique?
- What’s one goal you’re currently working on outside of class?
- What’s your superpower?
For more example exit ticket questions, try Ziplet, where you can pick from a range of template questions and ask an exit ticket in under 30 seconds.
2. Ask the right questions
Asking the right question makes a big difference. When asking an exit ticket question, it’s important to think about the following:
- One question at a time
To ensure you get clear responses, stick to only one concept per question. Otherwise, you risk your students being confused when they reply.
- Balance quantitative and qualitative questions
Quantitative questions provide a quick snapshot and receive the highest response rates because they are quick for students to complete. To gain the richest possible understanding of your students, be sure to follow-up with a qualitative question.
- Qualitative questions should be open-ended
An open-ended question enables students to offer a full answer to a question, drawing upon their own knowledge and feelings. Open-ended questions typically begin with words such as “Why” and “How”, or phrases such as “Tell me about…”.
- Focus on what can change – not what has been
The best questions are those that allow for change in the classroom. In other words, questions focused on the future and not what has been. For example, “What topics should we revisit before the test?” and “What can I do to better support your learning?”.
3. Get the timing right
The most common time to use an exit ticket is at the end of class. But with digital exit ticket tools like Ziplet making it fast and easy to ask a question, you get more flexibility in your timing. It’s important to select the right time and day for each type of question. For example:
- Start of class: Prompt reflection from the previous lesson
- End of class: Informal formative assessment
- Start of the day: Check on wellbeing and encourage positive behaviours
- Start and end of the week: Encourage positive behaviours and prompt reflection
- Start and end of term: Check on school climate
Collecting in-the-moment feedback from students can be a powerful tool for adjusting your teaching, and help ensure student wellbeing.
4. Be consistent
Making consistent use of exit tickets helps students understand their importance and encourages higher response rates.
When you start using exit tickets, it can be helpful to plan the week ahead and think about when you will be asking a question.
Tools like Ziplet let you send an exit ticket in under 30 seconds, making it easy to send at the end of class. You can also schedule your exit tickets ahead of time so you can plan them in bulk.
5. Keep it engaging
Mixing up the types of questions you ask, as well as the formats for response keeps exit tickets engaging for students.
Using the right tools allows you to include multiple response types (multiple choice, scale, emojis).
In addition to varying response types, you can also try asking students their opinions on classroom layout, decoration, activities or other classroom decisions. Increasing student voice in the classroom can lead to greater engagement as students feel more in control of aspects of their learning.
6. Follow up
It’s important to let students know that their responses are valued. Following up with students demonstrates their voice is heard.
There are two ways you will likely follow up with your students.
- With individual students
If a student or group of students appear to be struggling with the lesson content, it can be helpful to speak with them directly to provide additional support or find out what topics should be revisited.
- With the class
Not all students will need a one to one follow up. Using your exit tickets to take polls or sharing some of the insights from your exit tickets can be a helpful way of showing their impact.
Using a digital exit ticket tool like Ziplet lets you follow up directly with students, or reply to groups of students with similar responses. All your responses are shown in a chart, which you can share with the class if you run a poll.
Exit tickets are a great tool for understanding your students. By using them consistently and with a clear plan in mind, you can help students understand your lesson content, feel more confident in class and keep on top of any wellbeing issues.
Ziplet makes exit tickets easy, letting you ask a question in under 30 seconds. Sign up for free to check out the library of best practice questions and try it in your class.