# Prior Knowledge in Physically-Distanced Learning Spaces

Prior Knowledge active learning activities you can use in physically-distanced learning spaces. Use the links below to see documents on how to implement each approach.

Approach | Description | Outcome |
---|---|---|

Background Knowledge Probe | Students answer a short survey to collect feedback on their prior learning, including knowledge or beliefs that may hinder or block further learning. | Identifying the most effective starting point for instruction, focusing attention on the most important materials to be studied, and providing both a preview of what is to come and a review of what they already know. |

Empty Outlines | Students are given an empty or partially completed outline of an in-class presentation or homework assignment and a limited amount of time to fill in the blank spaces. | Assessing students’ understanding of a lecture, reading, or other activity while helping students recall and organize the main points within an appropriate knowledge structure. |

Focused Listing | Students are given a single term, name, or concept and are directed to list several ideas that are closely related to the topic. | Determining what learners recall as the most important points related to a topic while illuminating the connections students make between topics. |

Memory Matrix | Students fill in a two-dimensional diagram used to organize information and illustrate relationships in a way that can be quickly analyzed by the instructor. | Helping students recall important course content while assessing their skill at organizing that information into categories provided by the instructor. |

Minute Paper | Muddiest Point | Students write a response to some variation of a question like: “What was the most important thing you learned today?”; “What important questions remain unanswered?”; or “What was the muddiest point in today’s lecture?” | Offering useful feedback to the instructor on students’ comprehension of course content while at the same time encouraging students to formulate their questions about their learning. |

## Source/Citation

Angelo, Thomas A., and K. Patricia Cross. *Classroom Assessment Techniques: a Handbook for College Teachers*. Jossey-Bass, 1993. pp. 119-158.