A CAT is a simple tool for collecting data on student learning in order to improve it. A CAT is a “feedback device” that a teacher can use to find out how well students are learning, how they are learning, and how much they are learning. The feedback is immediate. It can provide as much information about how and how well a teacher is teaching as it can about student learning. Regular use of CATs helps students focus more effectively during class and gives them practice in monitoring their own learning.
A CAT is a formative evaluation device. It is not graded. It is not a substitute for teaching.
Examples of CATs
The simplest, most flexible CATs are:
The classroom response system makes it easy and quick to implement a visible quiz. eInstruction is the brand name of the classroom response system supported by Purdue. Through the careful use of well-designed and properly timed questions a teacher can immediately learn if the class has understood a lesson and modify the course of the discussion to address knowledge gaps or misconceptions.
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