Tip #978: Quick Activities to Check Learner Comprehension-Part One

When time for a presentation is very limited, there are four different categories of learning activities that engage learners and check their comprehension in one to ten minutes: written, verbal, visual and physical. We’ll look at the activities in the written and verbal categories in this Tip and the activities in the visual and physical categories in Part Two.

Written Activities:

  1. Questionnaire– This can be used to organize the presentation by including statements or questions that cover the major points. A questionnaire can be an easy way to convert a lecture into an interactive learning activity.
  2. Crossword Puzzle or Word Search– There are free internet sites that enable trainers to create these puzzles. Crossword puzzles are particularly good for checking learner comprehension.
  3. Worksheets- Fill-in-the-blanks worksheets enable learners to post key points as they learn them. Match up worksheets check learner comprehension.

Verbal Activities:

  1. Shout Outs– Learners shout out answers to questions posed by the trainer.
  2. Question and Answer Session– Learners and presenter can interact, with the nature of the questions providing direct feedback to the presenter regarding the audience’s level of understanding.
  3. Paired Conversations– Asking participants to turn to someone next to them to discuss a point or share information about a topic requires them to articulate their thoughts and enriches their learning experience.
  4. Debate– Participant volunteers take two sides of an argument and debate them in front of the entire group, which is split in half to provide verbal assistance to their designated representative. A debate clearly reveals the learners’ awareness of both sides of an issue.
  5. Competitive Brainstorming– Table groups compete against each other to list the greatest number of responses to a question posed by the trainer. The winning group gets a small prize. The competitive nature of this activity adds interest and energy, while checking for learner comprehension.

Question: What other written and verbal learning activities do you use that are quick and effective to check for learner comprehension?

May your learning be sweet,


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