Rapid feedback assessment methods: Can we improve engagement and preparation for exams in large-enrollment courses?

Sehoya H Cotner, Bruce A. Fall, Sue M Wick, J D Walker, Paul M Baepler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Scratch-off immediate feedback assessment technique (IF-AT) forms and classroom response systems (clickers) can increase student engagement and interaction and help students prepare for exams by indicating the type and level of questions they will encounter. We used the IF-AT throughout the semester in three sections of a lower-division biology class; in two, students worked on IF-AT questions in small permanent groups, and in one, students alternated between IF-AT and clickers each week. At the end of the semester, students answered surveys about instant feedback techniques. Students appreciated prompt feedback on their understanding of course material, enjoyed the group interaction and opportunities to learn from each other, and continued to have positive perceptions of instant feedback activities and to take them seriously throughout the semester. While appreciating the versatility of clicker questions, we find that the ease of use, low cost, effectiveness, and improved classroom climate of the IF-AT method are particularly commendable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)437-443
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Science Education and Technology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This research was funded by a grant from the Archibald Bush Foundation to the University of Minnesota and a matching grant from the College of Biological Sciences. We thank Dr. Mark Decker, who co-taught in Course A and provided helpful suggestions on effective use of the IF-AT method. We also thank Dr. Rogene Schnell, instructional technology specialist in the College of Biological Sciences, who set up the clicker system, trained the instructor in its use, and helped with clicker distribution and data management for Course C. A final thanks to Anne Kellerman and Christina Yi for data analysis.


  • Engagement
  • IF-AT
  • Immediate feedback
  • Large lectures
  • Student perceptions


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