Exit Passes are a quick way to check in on student learning. They don't require "grading"
per se, but they do give students a chance to check in with you on what they have
learned. This type of check-in, or assessment, is called formative assessment. It's
a tool that gives you a quick way to assess how well your students understand the
material they are learning in class. Exit Passes are not a test, but a way to understand
students' comprehension of a particular topic. You use this quick snapshot of information
from your students to see what questions they have and to adapt instruction, directions,
or address questions for the next class session. An Exit Pass can help you see gaps
in student knowledge in a way where students don't have to announce to the entire
class--"Hey, I don't understand this?!!!!?"
In order for this to work, you have to quickly read what they wrote and, at the beginning
of the next class, answer questions and address gaps in knowledge you see. I would
NOT call out their names: "Hey, John Smith! You asked me this question--here's the
answer." You could say to John before the class starts: "Hey, you asked a great question.
Do you mind if I share this question with the group? I'm sure others have the same
question." Or, it can be a great time to do some shoutouts and celebrations: "Hey,
this is amazing! I want to share with you some of the great ideas and connections
I read from the last class."
An Exit Pass can also do double duty as a way to take attendance. Make sure students
write their first and last name if you use it for attendance.
So, how do you do this? It's simple. You can ask students to pull out a piece a paper
or, my preferred method is to have a pile of recycled 8 x 11 paper cut in quarters.
You can pick some up in my office or let me know and we will campus mail this to you.
A small piece of paper seems to be less overwhelming to students. They don't have
to write much. That's not really the goal.
Option 1: At the end of class, ask them to answer this questions: "What did you learn today?"
Option 2: Ask them, "Tell me 3 things you learned, 2 things you found interesting, and 1 question
Pass the paper out, or have them pull out a piece of paper, or create a link to an
"Exit" Discussion Board. If you are meeting face-to-face, have them write it at the
end of the class. If you are meeting virtually, you could create an Exit "Pass" or
Discussion Board to answer mid-week. I think mid-week is better because the goal is
that you get information from the student that can help you revise or update as they
work, or as they are "forming" ideas. Think Forming and Formative. It's not Summative,
or Sum, Assessment.
What's Your Role?
Time is important. Read these quickly. You are not grading, judging, or evaluating.
You are observing the learning. These can be read quickly--like in five minutes. Take
a few notes and address questions and outstanding learning at the beginning of the
next class or in the announcements if you are teaching virtually.
Review what students wrote and ask yourself the following questions:
- Using an approximate percentage, how many students are on track? How many need follow-up?
- What will you need to address with them? Tell us two things that you can celebrate.
Tell us two questions that students have that will require some follow-up.
- Based on student responses and your own observations, what did you decide you may
need to re-teach or address with the students?
- Read over what students' wrote. What did they say they learned? What questions did
If you'd like more information on Exit Passes and how to do the, here are some links:
If you have questions, contact Assessment at Assessment@MissouriState.edu.