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
In class | Post class
Hybrid | Offline | Online
< 10 minutes
Group size
Small | Medium | Large

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.


  • 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.


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