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Digital Exit Tickets: The Good, The Bad and New Ways of Assessing

In 2021, your classroom might be operating fully online or with a blend of digital and paper-based instruction. Digital exit tickets are a popular gateway into computer-based learning, but they’re not perfect. Not all digital exit tickets are equal with regards to accessibility, ease of grading and value to learning. What’s so great about digital exit tickets, and are there any situations in which paper still reigns supreme? Intuitive digital tools offer new options that are likely to connect with more students while streamlining the grading process for teachers. With so many options and clashing philosophies in today’s accelerated switch to digital content, here’s what you need to know.

Digital Exit Tickets: The Good

A real timesaver: Digitally-administered exit tickets are efficient for teachers and students alike. They are quick and easy to create, and offer grading shortcuts that teachers value. Think about how long it takes to type the questions, format the document, make copies, distribute paper and finally grade them. Digital versions take the hassle out of the process.

Meet students where they’re comfortable: Surveys reveal that most students prefer to complete shorter, less strenuous assignments like exit tickets digitally. The same isn’t necessarily true for longer reading and  larger assignments. As technology natives, our students are used to being immersed in the world of technology.

Inspire reflection: Digital exit tickets are a shortcut to inspire reflection. Reflection is a critical step in retaining knowledge and skills. When students think about what they’ve learned, how it resonates with them and how it connects to what else they know, a monotonous unit can be transformed into a wholesome experience that’s part of the bigger picture.Reflection builds healthy learning habits and plants the seeds for lifelong learning.

Digital Exit Tickets: The Bad

Photo by Thomas Park on Unsplash

Some prefer paper: A portion of student populations doesn’t respond well to digital learning. Although the data shows nuanced opinions among students, some prefer paper assignments over digital. As educators, we can work with those students to see how we can improve their learning experience, first by finding out if there are ways to make digital options more accessible to them, or by printing paper copies if needed. Don’t assume that all students love online work.

 Learning styles can get overlooked: Some kids like to draw, some prefer to speak aloud, and others would rather write. Depending on the platform, some digital exit tickets can be cookie-cutter and bland, offering only one option for how to respond. English language learners may also have difficulties understanding the prompt and responding.

Not everyone has technology: A 2021 survey of American schools found that just 59% of classrooms have at least one technology device for every student. The pandemic did accelerate the 1:1 technology movement, but it will be years before digital assignments can be fully implemented in many schools. One way around this issue is to have exit ticket stations using the devices that are in the classroom.

A Better Way

Actionable data about your students

Despite some shortcomings, today’s digital exit tickets offer more for students and educators.

Exit tickets should be more than a prompt and a text box: Provide students with an opportunity to express themselves how they see fit. Whether it’s picking an emoji that matches their mood, or drawing their very own takeaway from the day’s lesson, students are more engaged when presented with something out of the ordinary.

Generate actionable data with ease: Sometimes, multiple choice makes sense. Harness the power of data with auto-graded responses when you see fit. It’s like the ultimate bubble sheet, no need to run to the copy room for grading! When students hit submit, data reflecting the progress of their learning journey is immediately in your (digital) hands.

Remind students that they matter: Digital exit tickets can bean avenue for less intrusive social and emotional learning (SEL) check-ins. Sometimes kids don’t want to talk about how they feel, and that’s totally understandable. Digital SEL exit tickets can take many forms, from multiple choice to free response, or even drawing a picture.

Paper versus technology has been a topic of debate for well over a decade now, and there’s no umbrella answer. Teachers know that students have unique learning styles, and preferences change overtime. Digital exit tickets are not perfect, but the latest and greatest digital tools are making the last few minutes of class a valuable opportunity to check-in and stay on top of student well-being and learning.

At Tailor-ED, we strive to make it easier to navigate student needs and chart a path forward that doesn’t leave a single learner behind. Create your first digital exit ticket by signing up today with no commitment. You’re here because you care about your students, and we’d be honored to be apart of your journey in education.