Focused Listing

The purpose of this tip is to help instructors determine what students are able to recall for the main points of a lesson. The preparation and follow-up for a Focused Listing activity is minimal, but can inform the instructor on what the students recall from the lesson.

  • The instructor begins this activity by setting a limit for either number of points to make (5 to 10) or limit the amount of time (3 to 5 minutes) to list the points.
  • Next the instructor writes down the main points of the lesson in allotted time.
  • The instructor will need to follow the requirement and determine if any modifications need to be made to this activity, e.g. number of items required or length of time.

This completed activity can help the instructor determine if the main points of the lesson are in fact important and can serve as the answer key when reviewing student responses.
At the end of a class session, have the students complete the Focused Listing activity. It may be necessary to require fewer points or ideas or provide extra time because the students are novices with the material. Collect their anonymous responses and review the answers by sorting them into piles of ?appropriate? or ?inappropriate? to determine how well students are recalling the main points. At the beginning of the next class session, review with the students the findings of the activity. List the points or ideas you developed and include some of the ideas students provided that were not on your list, but were still relevant.
The Focused Listing activity can help students in several ways:

  • Paying attention
  • Concentration
  • Memory skills
  • Listening skills
  • Study skills
  • Factual recall of the course

Angelo, T. A. & Cross, K. P. (1993) Classroom Assessment Techniques: A Handbook for College Teachers (2nd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass

Contributed by David Sacks, University of Kentucky
Compiled by the Kentucky Writing Consortium and disseminated by the Faculty Development Council of the Institute for Teaching and Learning, CSU