Last week I attended a workshop on Differential Education, and realized that I’m already doing something very “differential-ly” – starting this semester in my General Psychology class. Students do a five minute entry ticket each day upon coming into class, and a five minute exit ticket on the way out. Combined, these two tickets count for 50% of their overall course grade, and I grade them not only for participation, but also accuracy. Initially I began creating them using Socrative, however I found it to be a bit buggy for my tastes, and switched to Google Forms.
Here’s what I do each day:
- Get to class about 5 minutes early.
- Put question on screen and freeze screen. The question slide is always the same, giving a question and URL to go to the “Entry Ticket” form. I use a URL Shortening service so that it’s easy to type in, and I also provide a QR code.
- Open up the Entry spreadsheet (which I have bookmarked) and watch the results come in. The students see a form that looks like this, whereas I get a spreadsheet view:
- I then update Slide 2 (the ‘parking lot’) in my powerpoint slide deck as things catch my eye. I try to include everything they put “Yes” on and a few things that I find interesting in the other entries.
- At the start of class time, I let students know they have 4-5 minutes to complete their entry ticket. Some questions are harder than others, and sometimes students take longer to complete if they have a lot they want to tap out.
- About 5 minutes after the start of class time, I let students know that we’re getting started. I typically don’t go over the answer to the question immediately, in case people are finishing up.
- Go through slides/activity/etc… for the day.
- About 5 minutes until the end of class, put up the last slide in the powerpoint deck. It also has the URL and QR code for a different form (the green form below).
- While they’re working on that, I open up the Exit spreadsheet link (bookmarked on the Instructor PC), and watch the results come in. The students see a form that looks like this:
- I tell students that I’ll let them know when it’s time to leave, so that the rustling of backpacks and bags isn’t distracting. (“Trust me guys, I’ll let you know when it’s 10:50”)
- Around 1 minute left, I usually make some comment about the exit tickets to the class (maybe an observation or a joke), or in some cases I’ll go up to certain students and answer their question or concern (e.g., “Hey AJ – you’re right, it is!”)
- After class I sort both spreadsheets, enter the grades into Canvas, enter attendance based off of who responded, and then hide the rows of the spreadsheet so that next time everything is clear. This takes about 10 minutes. Since I’m staying with the same forms and spreadsheets, I can always ‘unhide’ all of the rows if I want historical data, and then re-hide them later.
I’ve found this to work really well this semester. Students are (mostly) reading and engaged. And in the end, it was much easier to set up using Google Forms / Sheets than through Socrative or any other ‘education’ product.