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Strategies to Assess and Enhance Student Understanding

As Edgar Dale's Cone of Learning demonstrates, the more students actively use course material via speaking, writing, and doing, the more they will retain what they have learned. The following strategies for students work well to gauge and deepen student understanding of course concepts:

  1. Defend an action or decision described in the class material. 
  2. Describe the most significant feature of a video or film. 
  3. Write a brief paraphrase of reading material or lecture material. 
  4. Refute a theory or principle described in the day's material. 
  5. Prepare sample test questions or writing assignments based on course material. 
  6. Compare two different procedures for accomplishing the same goal. 
  7. Imitate or parody a style or approach to a problem. 
  8. Draw a map or diagram of the concept being presented. 
  9. Explain or list steps in how to perform a procedure. 
  10. Outline or debate opposing views on an issue. 
  11. Write a brief scenario to illustrate a concept. 
  12. Predict an outcome, response or event.

Diane Boehm, Writing Center Director Emeritus, Saginaw Valley State University

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Dr. Kim Lacey, Writing Program Administrator


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