The Vet’s View (Veteran Teacher, not Animal Doctor)
TEFL Activities – Exit Slips
by Thomas C. Anderson
Most colleges and universities do an end of term survey in which students comment on what was good in their classes and what could be done better. While this is helpful for preparing for the next term, feedback from students should be collected during the term to find out what’s going well and where problems might be. Getting this kind of input from students gives them a sense of connection with what goes on in the classroom and that their voice is heard and acted upon. The question is: how we can do this in a way that will help students to share their concerns? A simple but very effective way to do this is by doing this activity which I learned from Gregory Strong of Aoyama Gakuin University.
Before the class begins the teacher puts a large envelope in a conspicuous place by the door. Towards the end of the class-perhaps for the last five minutes or so-students are told to take a piece of scrap paper and write a comment or question about the class and put it into the envelope on their way out of the classroom. It is very important that they don’t write their names. Later, the teacher looks at the exit slips and filters out the frivolous ones like “I like your neckties” or “I was sleepy”. The serious comments and questions are responded to at the beginning of the next class meeting.
Although it sounds very simple, exit slips can give teachers valuable information throughout the term. I think that it’s better to do this perhaps every second or third class to keep it from becoming dull.