Check for Understanding
The learning strategies that SI-PASS leaders use in their sessions are designed to promote student-to-student interactions. We cannot automatically assume, however, that the students are gaining understanding from their interactions. Instead, we must check for understanding by asking the students to confirm that they have learned the content.
The most common method of checking understanding is to ask the students a closed-ended question like, “Do you understand?” This question can be answered with a simple yes or no. This is not effective because students are sometimes uncomfortable admitting that they still do not understand a concept, especially if considerable time has just been spent on it during the session. Instead, questions that check for understanding should be open-ended and require higher-order thinking skills. It is essential that students can explain the discussed topic in their own words so the leader knows that students understand before proceeding to the next topic. If there is any doubt that the students have not “got” it, the concept should be discussed again. The leader should make sure that the students get a chance to demonstrate their understanding so that demonstrating understanding becomes part of the SI-PASS sessions. This will improve student preparation and learning.
SI Supervisor Manual, The international Center for Supplemental Instruction, University of Missouri Kansas City 2014