Note Cards

Back to videos

Eileen Angelini discusses using note cards to prompt class discussions with her students at East Carolina University.


Multiple Means of Expression, what does that mean for students and what does that mean for instructor? One method that I use is to ask students to create two pertinent or relevant discussion questions and write them down on a 3x5 index card. The students prepare these questions based on an outside reading or an outside class assignment such as an film viewing or a lecture and then when they come to class I collect the cards, I shuffle them, and after shuffling them I pick at random a card and ask the question off the card. This method protects those students that are reticent, maybe a little nervous, shy-- unsure of the relevance of their question and everyone is more engaged.

What really comes out for the students as well as for the instructor is when there is overlap with the questions and the students will readily say, “well we already discussed that, remember when we said a + b = c. This time we’re saying b + a = c.” So this is pointing out to the students that there are different perspectives or different ways to get the same conclusion. It also is helpful for the instructor because they see what is salient or what is jumping out at students or the most important aspect for them. So the class discussion becomes student centered rather than teacher centered. Although there are times when the discussion tends to stray a little of into the abstract, the teacher can refocus the discussion and bring the students back into the discussion based on the questions on the cards that the students have provided.