Start (and end) the term with student questions

On the first day of class, I ask students to submit three questions they have about the class topic. Reviewing questions helps me gauge the background knowledge and interests of students. I type up the questions to save for later. Then, on the last day of class, I distribute questions to small groups and ask students to answer them. Typically, students can answer most of the questions, demonstrating how much they learned over the course of a term. If the question is one that we did not directly address though the class, I ask them to review their notes, readings, etc. to look for relevant information that could build towards an answer with more research. In this way, the exercise also serves as a review for the final exam.

(This tip was anonymously submitted.)