Weekly CAT

Week #5 - RSQC2

posted Feb 18, 2010, 1:39 PM by Jennifer Mansfield

RSQC2 (Recall, Summarize, Question, Connect, and Comment)

Teachers can use the whole thing or select individual components.  When the whole RSQC2 is used, it guides students through simple recall, summary, analysis, evaluation and synthesis exercises focusing on a previous class session.

1.       Recall:  At the beginning of class, ask students to make a list – in words or simple phrases of what they recall as the most important, useful, or meaningful points from the previous class.  Then ask each to choose, from their list, three to five main points and rank them in order of importance. (1 -2 minutes)

2.       Summarize:  Direct them to summarize as many of the most important points as they can into one summary sentence that captures the essence of the previous class. (1 -2 minutes)

3.       Question:  Ask them to jot down one or two questions that remained unanswered after the previous class. (1 -2 minutes)

4.       Connect:  Ask students to explain – in one or two sentences – the connection(s) between the main point(s) of the previous class and the major goal(s) of the entire course.

5.       Comment:  Invite the students to write an evaluative comment or two about the class.  (1 -2 minutes)

Some possible comment stems are:

a.       What I enjoyed most/least was…

b.      What I found most/least useful was…

c.       During most of the class, I felt …

6.       Collect the RSQC2 feedback, letting students know what kind of feedback they can expect to receive and when they will receive it.

Week #4 - Approximate Analogies

posted Feb 10, 2010, 3:53 PM by Jennifer Mansfield


1.       Select a key relationship between two facts or concepts that is important for your students to understand.

2.       Create an Approximate Analogy, using the two related concepts or facts as the A and B elements in the “A is to B as X is to Y” format.

3.       Quickly generate a number of appropriate completions – the “X is to Y” part – each of which results in an Approximate Analogy.  Try to come up with relationships from everyday life.

4.       If you are convinced that the original relationship is worth assessing, and that most of your students will be able to respond, prepare to use it as a prompt. 

5.       Present one or two sample analogies to the students before asking them to complete an Approximate Analogy on their own.

6.       When you are ready to carry out the assessment, simply write the prompt on the board, or display it on an overhead, and explain what students are to do.  You may wish to hand out small index cards or slips of paper for the responses.

7.       In most cases, students will need only a minute or two to complete the exercise, after which you can collect the feedback.



The theme is to an essay as

________ is to ____________.


Mass is to volume as

________ is to ____________.


Income is to social class as

________ is to ____________.

Week #3 - Invented Dialogues

posted Feb 3, 2010, 10:21 AM by Jennifer Mansfield

  1. Select one or more controversial issues, theories, decisions, or personalities that are important topics in your course.
  2. Have students create a short dialogue (10 - 20 exchanges) between characters discussing selected points of the chosen item.  It may be helpful to provide students with an instructive handout that helps get them started (see example below).

Invented Dialogues

Directions:  Using the information we discussed in class today, create a dialogue between Socrates and Aristotle.  If you choose, you can use different characters but at least one of each of the characters holds the same views as each of the philosophers.  Have them discuss their views of the individual’s role in political life.  Your conversation need only be 10 – 20 exchanges long.  You will have 5 minutes.  Pass in your papers as you leave class.







Character A ( ____________):
Character B ( ____________):
Character A ( ____________):
Character B ( ____________):

Week #2 - Double-Entry Journal

posted Jan 26, 2010, 12:49 PM by Jennifer Mansfield   [ updated Jan 26, 2010, 1:03 PM ]

  1. Select an important part of text, podcast, or video.
  2. Ask students to divide a piece of paper in half lengthwise.
  3. On the left half, students copy a few short lines or key points made that struck them as particularly meaningful.
  4. On the right half, students explain why they chose each excerpt and their reaction(s) to those excerpts (agreements, disagreements, questions, etc).
From the given article “Classroom Assessment for Critical Thinking” by Thomas A. Angelo, select three passages that have significance to you.  In the ‘Text’ column, copy each of the passages into a cell.  In the ‘Remarks’ column opposite each passage, state why you chose that particular passage as well as your feelings it.
 Text         Remarks
 There is a wide agreement that college students learn more and better when ....  I agree with this statement because....but I don't understand how........

Week #1 - Defining Features Matrix

posted Jan 19, 2010, 12:32 PM by Jennifer Mansfield   [ updated Jan 19, 2010, 12:39 PM ]

  1. Focus on two or three important concepts that are similar and tend to confuse students.
  2. Determine which features are most critical for the students to recognize.
  3. Make a list of defining features that each concept either clearly does or does not possess.  After drawing up that list, you may want to add a limited number of shared features.  Advise students if there are some that share features.
  4. Create a matrix with features listed down the left side and concepts across the top, or vice versa.
  5. Check to see that each cell of the matrix can be reasonably answered with a (+) or (-).  You could also use either ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
  6. Give copies of the finished matrix to your students.
  7. Clearly explain the purpose of the matrix and the directions for filling it out as well as a time limit (usually 5 minutes or less).
  8. Have students return matrix and analyze where students may be confused.
  9. Review results and what they mean with students the next class period.






Institutional   Assessment

Classroom Assessment



Teacher-designed and directed




Large sample sizes required


Sophisticated statistical data analysis required


Standardized and validated instruments preferred


Focused on classroom teaching and learning


Replicable and comparable


Useful to students and teachers


Useful to administrators


Aims to improve quality of higher education




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