Dr. Frederick Mosteller developed a teaching assessment technique called the “Muddiest Point”. Dr. Mosteller is a Harvard University professor of statistics back in 1989. He developed a simple classroom assessment tool that requires minimal preparation in order to assess the students within a few minutes. Trouble areas are helped pinpointed by the use of the Muddiest Point and instructors are provided with feedback on confusing items. The muddiest point can be most helpful for instructors and students when discussing complex or complex topics.
It can be used at different intervals, whether before starting on a new topic or at the end of the class. The basic concept of the technique lies on the instructor asking students to write down or post on a class discussion board the topic which they had difficulties with -essentially asking “What is the muddiest point in the session? ” When used during the class, the instructor can collect papers or even verbally ask and discuss some of the items which the students found most difficult.
The muddiest point can also be discussed and facilitated at the end of a class as papers can be collected, reviewed and sorted according to topic and discussed at the beginning of the next class for clarification. It is also possible to use electronic forms and with that, students are encouraged to respond outside of class and clarify points they understood. The Muddies point is one of the most efficient classroom assessment techniques aside from its simplicity.
It provides a great information return for an incredibly low venture of energy and time. It’s very effective in the sense that it provides the students information that they find confusing on a certain topic or lesson. It helps the teacher as well to point out which parts of his teachings are difficult to grasp for the students. This technique has its disadvantages or cons as well. At first, students may have the tendency to find it difficult to name the part of the lesson that they don’t understand well.
Professors might deem that their most well-prepared presentations can still be misunderstood by some of their students. Too much focus on what students find difficult can undermine both the teacher’s and student’s motivation. Overall though the technique is really beneficial as it is quite easy to administer and only requires very modest preparations. The teachers or professors can see the material through their students directly.
The Muddiest Point requires the students to give more concentration on how well they comprehend the significant assignment or session. Bibliography Deibel, Kate. ‘Muddiest Point’. University of Washington’s Classroom Assessment Techniques, retrieved 07 August 2010, http://www. cs. washington. edu/homes. deibel/CATs/library/Muddiest-Point/muddiest-point. html>. Martin, Mary Barone. ‘Classroom Assessment Techniques Designed for Technology’. Information Technology Conference at MTSU, retrieved 07 August 2010, <http://www. mtsu. edu/~itconf/proceed99/Martin. htm>.
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