Want students to arrive in each class prepared and ready to engage with the material? Consider charging a ticket—a brief academic prompt—for admission.

In order to enter or exit the classroom, a growing number of instructors are having have students submit a brief response relating to the course readings or information presented in lecture. These five-minute tickets—which may completed in-class or online—serve to focus students’ attention in class while also providing instructors with regular feedback and input on their courses.

Entry tickets are useful ways to have students reflect on their existing knowledge with a subject while also priming to effectively synthesize it with the new information presented in lecture. The prompts also alert instructors to any issues students encounter with the subject matter, allowing them to reflexively address them in class or through personalized support.

Exit tickets are effective means to help students process new information and provide feedback on class instruction. Professor Larry Wakeford at Brown University, a strong proponent of exit tickets, provides a number of exit prompt examples for students to complete before leaving class, including:

  • Write/ask one question about today’s content—something that has left you puzzled.
  • Read this problem and tell me what you first step would be in solving it.
  • Which of the readings was most helpful in preparing you for the lesson? Why?

Spending a few minutes during each lecture or tutorial for students to complete entry or exit tickets yields a considerable return on investment. Not only do they encourage students to engage more actively with course content but they also provide instructors valuable feedback to better inform their instruction and support their students.

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About the Author: Dustin is a senior account manager with DesignedUX, providing communications and strategy to organizations in education and technology. Dustin is also board member of the Canadian Public Relations Society and contributes as a communications researcher with McMaster University.