Emoticon exit ticket: A lesson on critical design
Posted January 11, 2016on:
What is wrong with designing a teaching resource because it is cute, fun, and current?
Nothing, if there is good reason for it.
A good reason for an exit ticket is to find out if and what students think they learnt. Another is to get feedback about a teacher’s instruction.
The tweeted idea is a more current version of the traditional smiley sheet. In evaluative terms, it is barely Level 1 of Kirkpatrick’s evaluation framework. The emoticon sheet might provide answers to whether students liked the instruction. However, liking something does not mean you learnt anything.
It is important to find out how students feel after a lesson. It is more important to find out if they learnt anything.
The fascination with scores, symbols that can be codified to numbers, and distractions from learning undermines what a teacher needs to find out with an exit ticket.
There are at least three critical questions exit tickets should address in well-thought but curriculum-oriented teaching:
- Did the students learn?
- What did they learn?
- What needs to happen next?
You might be able to get away with just the first two if the session is standalone or discrete (e.g., a TED talk).
Designing only with aesthetics and/or numbers in mind is not enough. Good educational theory that is based on rigorous research and/or critical, reflective practice should be applied to the design of learning experiences and resources. To do anything less is to do a disservice to our learners.