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Using a 3-2-1 Activity to Assess Student Understanding

3 things you learned, 2 things you found interesting, 1 questions
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The 3-2-1 method is a student-centered formative assessment activity that can be used to gauge student understanding of course material and determine where students might need additional support. Students are asked to consider a lesson, video, lab, etc., and respond by describing three things they learned, two things they found especially interesting, and one question they still have. This method provides students with structure to reflect on their own learning and it encourages critical thinking. Student responses help instructors determine what material may need to be reviewed and where students are feeling engaged. The results can be valuable for instructors to consider when modifying their lesson material for future classes. This strategy can also be used at the start of class to reflect on what was learned in a previous lesson or at the end of a class to consider what was learned that day.


  • It can be helpful to share the questions students have with the entire class and review the answers with everyone.
  • The 3-2-1 activity can also be used as a pre-assessment tool. Ask students to name three things they already know about the topic, two things they find most interesting about the topic, and one question they want to have answered about the topic.
  • This can be used in both face-to-face and online learning.
  • Consider making this a low-stakes activity to encourage participation.