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Classroom Assessment Techniques
Minute Paper

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Michael Zeilik
Department of Physics & Astronomy
University of New Mexico

Michael Zeilik

"When I decided to transform my introductory astronomy course to embrace an integrated conceptual approach, I was vexed by the problem of obtaining immediate classroom assessment. I introduced the minute paper, which solved the problem, especially if I sensed that the class had missed a key concept. From the written feedback, I could then devise another teaching strategy for the very next class. I found that the Minute Paper provided a voice for the students and constructive information for me."

Why Use the Minute Paper?

The Minute paper provides real-time feedback from a class to find out if students recognized the main points of a class session—or were confused by them!— and so help the instructor craft changes for the next class.

What is the Minute Paper?

A concise note (taking one minute!), written by students (individually or in groups), that focuses on a short question presented by the instructor to the class, usually at the end of the session.


Instructor Preparation Time: Minimal; can be formulated during class.
Preparing Your Students: Students need brief oral instructions the first time.
Class Time: One minute (actually a few).
Disciplines: Appropriate for all.
Class Size: Minute paper will work with large or small classes.
Special Classroom/Technical Requirements: None/note cards.
Individual or Group Involvement: Either.
Analyzing Results: Sort into themes.
Other Things to Consider: Teams provide better feedback than individuals in large classes.

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