The muddiest point

Use this teaching activity when you want to know which lecture content has not yet been well-understood by the students. This gives you an impression of the predominant uncertainties and misconceptions and enables you to adapt your lecture content.

Activity goal
Recap / Summarize |
Reflect
When
In class |
Post class
Where
Hybrid |
Offline |
Online
Duration
< 10 minutes
Group size
Small |
Medium |
Large
Materials

Canvas, Padlet, Teams

Stap 1

In your teaching meeting, identify the best time to introduce ‘The Muddiest Point’ activity. For instance, this can be after a 15-minute presentation, before the break, or at the end of the lecture.

Stap 2

Ask the students to formulate a brief answer to the question “What do you still find really unclear?”

Stap 3

Have students note down their answers on paper or in an online tool.

Stap 4

Scan the students’ answers (when the students are busy with another assignment, during the break or after the lecture).

Stap 5

Identify ‘The Muddiest Points’ and explain these after the break, at the start of the next lecture or in the online environment.

  • Tips

    • It is easy to collect ‘Muddiest Points’ offline using pieces of paper. Online tools also offer you the opportunity to save the ‘Muddiest Points’ in a structured way for a longer period.
    • An ideal moment to collect ‘The Muddiest Points’ is just before a break. You can then use the break to go through the notes and use the start of the next teaching block to clarify several of the ‘Muddiest Points’. 
    • This activity is also extremely suitable for giving students insight into their own learning process. 
  • Please 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.