Knowledge Check


A knowledge check is a flexible teaching technique used during a lecture to quickly determine the level of understanding students have about a particular topic

Download: One Page Summary
  • Why It Works
  • Implementation
  • Video Exemplars
  • Research Evidence
  • Why It Works

    Why It Works

    A knowledge check can:

    • reveal and quickly address learning misconceptions and illusions of learning
    • provide the opportunity to regain student attention during long lectures
    • improve long term retention via the “testing effect”
  • Implementation


    1. Pose a question to the entire class.
    2. Collect answers from all students by clickers, voting cards, or show of hands.
    3. Frame your response to the level of student understanding.

  • Video Exemplars

    Video Exemplars

    Video coming soon!

  • Research Evidence

    Research Evidence

    Content Description: Read this for more detail about how to implement knowledge-check questioning during lectures.

    • Wolff, M., Wagner, M. J., Poznanski, S., Schiller, J., Santen, S. (2015). Not Another Boring Lecture: Engaging Learners With Active Learning Techniques. The Journal of Emergency Medicine, 48(1), 85-93.

    Content Description: This article describes the positive impact of knowledge-check questioning on student learning. Though the authors used clickers, these questions could also be answered using a show of hands.

    • Mains, T.E., Confrancesco, J., Miller, S. M., Shah, N.G. & Goldberg, H. (2015 ). Do questions help? The impact of audience response systems on medical student learning: a randomised controlled trial, Postgraduate Medical Journal, 91, 361-367.