Integrating an Online Formative Teaching Inquiry Tool to Enhance Students’ Learning and Instructor’s Teaching

Grant program: Teaching and Learning Development Grant (TLDG)

Grant recipient: Tun Myint, Faculty of Health Sciences

Project teamRochelle Tucker, Faculty of Health Sciences, Barbara Berry, Teaching and Learning Centre, and Nathan Milly and Justine Uy, research assistants

Timeframe: April 2-17 to January 2018

Funding: $5,000

Course addressed: HSCI 130 – Foundations of Health Science (Health and Wellness)

Final report: View Tun Myint's final report (PDF)

Description: This project builds on a previous TLDG project which investigated and assessed how student reflection and feedback can enhance students’ learning using a paper and pencil teaching inquiry tool: “muddiest points tool”. (View Tun Myint’s previous project report >>) The findings revealed that the muddiest points tool was effective in enhancing student learning and improving instructor teaching. The findings also revealed that the tool has potential to implement in larger classes and online administration.

Building on this previous project’s findings, the muddiest points tool potential will be further investigated in the following ways:

  • Online administration of the muddiest points tool
  • Use by an instructor with no prior exposure to the muddiest tool
  • Administered in two large lower-level undergraduate courses simultaneously
  • The two instructors using the tool will keep a journal to track how they responded to students’ muddiest point assessment (i.e., what they did in class after reading muddiest point responses, how they changed materials or assignments because of muddiest point responses)

Questions addressed:

  • Will online administration make it possible for instructors to use the assessments in the same way, as was done with paper and pencil administration and smaller student numbers?
  • How does the instructor new to the muddiest point assessment view the usefulness of it?
  • What are the concepts (muddiest points) most frequently mentioned by students in both course sessions?
  • Do different instructors receive the same or different muddiest points from students?
  • How did the two instructors respond to the student responses to the muddiest point assessment?
  • How do students perceive the usefulness of the weekly assessment to their learning?

Knowledge sharing: We will share the findings of this grant at the Faculty of Health Sciences’ Teaching and Learning dialogue workshops. In addition we will share our findings at SFU’s Teaching and Learning Research day, and national and international conferences regarding Teaching and Learning and evaluation, if abstracts/posters are accepted.

Bachmann, M. (2018, January 16). Clear as mud? It never hurts to ask [Blog post]. Retrieved from

Myint, T. (2017, September). Online formative assessment: Using an online student "muddy point" reflection tool to improve learning and teaching.Poster presented at Making Connections: Celebrating Teaching and Learning Inquiry, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC.

Myint, T. (2017, November). Online formative assessment: Using an online student "muddy point" reflection tool to improve learning and teaching. Presentation at DEMOfest2017: The Art of Assessment, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC.

Keywords: Online; formative; assessment; higher education; muddiest points;  double loop feedback; journal; learning reflection; teaching inquiry.