Cap on, cap off

The lecturer asks students to give a brief response to closed questions or statements. There are always two possible answers, such as correct or incorrect, yes or no, agree or disagree, etc. Students give their answers to each question. You can use this activity for many functions, such as getting acquainted, gauging prior knowledge or opinions, or just to round off a session.  This teaching method allows you to create easy interaction with a large group, and you gain rapid insight into the prior knowledge, characteristics or opinions of students.

Activity goal
Assess |
Get to know each other |
In class
Offline |
< 30 minutes
Group size
Medium |

Step 1

Come up with a number of clear questions (or statements) that have two possible answers, such as ‘yes/no’, ‘agree/disagree’, ‘correct/incorrect’. 

Step 2

Explain how students should indicate their answers to each question. For example: Remain standing for ‘correct’ and sit for ‘incorrect’, put your hand in the air for ‘agree’ and keep it down for ‘disagree’, or stick a post-it in front of your webcam for ‘no’ and remove it for ‘yes’. 

Step 3

Ask the questions one by one.

Step 4

Give the students a short amount of time to think about their response, and also think about your own response. Make an inventory of the answers. 

Step 5

Once all students have made their choice known, select, where necessary, a number of students to explain or argue their choices. If you use statements, you can then present the statement again to see if the students change their answers. As lecturer, you should also share your answer with the students. 

  • Variation 1

    An offline version offers different options for students to make their answers known:

    • Students stand up from their seat, or remain seated.  
    • Students hold up a red or green piece of paper.
    • Students put up their hands or keep them down.  

    Variation 2

    In an online version, you can gauge the answers in the following ways:

    •  Have students switch on their cameras. Ask them, depending on their choice, to put up their hands or keep them down, hold a post-it in front of the webcam or remove it, or choose between 2 objects with different colours to hold in front of the webcam.
    •  Get students to hold up a virtual hand in Zoom or MS Teams


    Generate interesting questions! Make sure that the questions are in-depth and that they deepen the students’ learning process.

  • Consider the tools and materials mentioned here as suggestions. In many cases it’s possible to use alternative tools. Please turn to the Learning & Innovation team of your faculty (EUR or EMC) first to see which online and offline tools are available and how to apply them.

    Depending on your version: Ask students to take headwear with them or supply green and red pieces of paper. Prior to an online session you can let the students know in advance that they will need to wear headwear, have a post-it handy to stick over their webcams, or will need to show something that makes their answers clear.