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Muddiest Point

Muddiest point can be readily used in every in-person, online and blended classroom. The muddiest point focuses in on what the students find to be the hardest concept, equation, problem, etc. in class (UNL). This technique enables students to engage in reflection and self-assessment regarding their greatest area/s of confusion. The guiding question might be, “What was the most confusing concept that we discussed today?” This can be done through a google forms, on a zoom chat, a simple piece of paper, or anyway that would be easiest to the professor. In fact, muddy points can be submitted using the Snowball technique. Muddy points can even be submitted directly to the learning assistant (LA).

Muddiest points allow the students to reflect on their areas for improvement, and also enable instructors to assess student learning. In fact, this modality is dubbed a CAT (classroom assessment technique) by Angelo and Cross (1993). Alongside this, it allows the students who don’t want to ask questions, in fear of ridicule, to be able to get their thoughts to the professor (Xenopoulos). This gives every student a voice in the classroom.

It may be helpful to make your prompts specific (UNL). Do you want students to write down a concept, skill or learning technique? By being specific, students will have more focused points and this will allow the professor to be able to do more focused changes in the classroom. This can be done once a week to allow the students to reflect weekly and the professor to make changes over the weekend.

This video gives some more insight on both the how and the why of using the muddiest point active learning strategy.

LAMP LA Terrin Bond contributed to this Active Learning Spectrum Entry.

 


References and Resources

Angelo and Cross (1993) Classroom Assessment Techniques. 2nd Edition. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

“Muddiest Point.” Muddiest Point | Graduate Connections | Nebraska, www.unl.edu/gradstudies/connections/muddiest-point.

Xenopoulos, Mariette, director. Muddiest Point. YouTube, YouTube, 22 Aug. 2017, www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROPFLdrQvsE.

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