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Make checking answers more varied – Part 2

Following our first post on a variety of feedback ideas, here’s part 2 with even more ideas.


Different ways of going over answers:

  • Students rank exercises and/or answers from the most to the least difficult, the most to the least interesting, the most to the least useful and so on.
  • Vary the order in which exercises are corrected to make this stage less predictable.
  • Give part of the answer key to pairs so that they are responsible for a chunk of answers.
  • If students seem to fly through an exercise, focus on correct pronunciation in the feedback.
  • Expand and add value to the feedback by eliciting synonyms, antonyms, similar expressions, homonyms, homophones, etc. This is also a good chance to include students who haven’t finished an exercise. Generally a good idea for upper-intermediate and advanced classes.
  • For ranking or matching exercises, put the words on pieces of paper and have students physically do the exercise on the floor or the table. While monitoring it is easy to indicate incorrect answers by pulling out the wrong paper or pointing at it.


Turn it into a competition

This works well with all multiple choice or gap-fill activities. In pairs, students get a fictitious amount of money or points. They work through an exercise or test and after the time is up they are given an additional four minutes to place bets on their answers. If they are certain their answer is correct, they can bet more than if they are not so sure. It’s a good idea to limit the maximum stakes.