Blended learning activity 6: Minute paper


In many blended subjects, lecturers provide subject content in a variety of formats in the LMS (e.g. short narrated PowerPoint videos, key readings, animated videos, podcasts). While these materials may be engaging, learning remains passive if students are not required to complete activities related to this content. Blended learning activities bridge the gap between the online and face-to-face environments.

Student learning occurs in developmental stages, therefore it is critical to support the progress of learning. One means is formative assessment tasks that keep teaching to John Biggs' focus on "what the student does". The minute paper is a simple, workload friendly formative task that sets up a feedback loop. It is used in two steps:

  1. Present the minute paper to check students' grasp of key concepts: students provide feedback on their learning to the teaching academic  
  2. Summarise and present back to students their progress so far: this gives feedback to the class on their learning

How do I do this activity?

The minute paper can be conducted during the progress of a subject to test students' grasp of key concepts, for example, at the start or end of a lecture, workshop or online video or module. It can be conducted online or in a face to face session, e.g. an online poll or survey, or even via a show of hands  

The minute paper is best to connect to students through a feedback loop, in two stages:

Before class

Obtain feedback from students on engagement with key knowledge concepts.

During F2F class

Re-present analysis to students on their feedback on key knowledge concepts.