Exit Cards

Rationale

Exit cards require students to answer particular questions on a piece of paper that is turned in before they leave the class. These cards provide teachers with immediate information that can be used to assess students’ understanding, monitor students’ questions or gather feedback on teaching. For students, exit cards serve as a content review at the end of a daily lesson and enhance their meta-cognitive skills.

Procedure

Step one: Preparation

Students should have a pen/pencil and paper. Instructors can prepare half-slips of paper with typed questions or write questions on the whiteboard for students to answer.

Step two: Students respond to prompt

Often teachers have students complete exit cards during the final 5 minutes of the class period.  Since exit cards must be turned in before students leave class, it is best if the prompts are specific and brief. Often they refer directly to the content that was studied, but they can also be general in nature such as: 

  • List three things you learned in class today.
  • What questions, ideas and feelings have been raised by this lesson?
  • What was your favorite moment of class? Why? What was your least favorite part of class? Why?
  • Evaluate your participation in class today. What did you do well? What would you like to do differently next time?

Exit cards can be structured using the 3-2-1 style as well.  Depending on the purpose for having students complete exit cards, teachers may have students complete them anonymously.

Step three: Accountability

Students may leave class when they turn in an exit card to the teacher.

 

Variations

  • Sharing the results of exit cards: Often it is appropriate to share your findings from the exit cards with students at the beginning of the next lesson.  For example, you could mention that many students asked similar questions so you will make sure to address these questions in subsequent lessons.  Sometimes teachers type up the results of the exit cards (without names) and have students respond to these comments as a warm-up during the next lesson.  Letting students know that you have read their ideas and have used them to inform your teaching decisions helps build a classroom culture of respect and trust.

Example