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Strategy Bites: Exit cards and closing summary

Student writing on a note card

At Teaching and Learning Services, we regularly receive questions from instructors asking for ideas to enhance their teaching and improve students’ engagement in class. So, we’ve recorded 2-3 minute video bites that describe how to implement some strategies we’ve chosen based on relative ease of implementation, suitability for different class sizes, and their representation of a variety of interaction types. We’ll be sharing these strategies in the Teaching for Learning @McGill University blog over the coming weeks. Stay tuned!   

Strategies: Exit Cards and Closing Summary 

These reflection strategies get students to think about what they learned before they forget what happened in class that day! They can also help students know what they don’t know. 

When planning a class, it can be helpful for students if instructors build in an opportunity for students to tie up loose ends so that they can walk away with a deeper appreciation for what they learned. Activities like Exit Cards and Closing Summary serve exactly this purpose. They engage students in reflection on not only what they’ve learned but also, potentially, on how they will use this knowledge in the future.  

Reflection is important because it can support students with assimilating and consolidating new knowledge, and thus help us realize why what we learn matters. Reflection is also important because it engages students in developing their metacognitive strategies (i.e., thinking about one’s thinking) and fosters the development of self-regulated learning. When I reflect on my learning, I can also learn to recognize what I don’t know. I can apply this strategy any time I learn new material, not just at the end of class when the instructor suggests I do it. 

Closure in the form of an Exit Card or Closing Summary can highlight for students their accomplishments, and these strategies are the perfect opportunity for your students to walk away with more than just a final grade.  

 Would you like know more? 

Check out the other posts in the Strategy Bites series: 


 How do you encourage students to reflect on their learning? 

Jasmine Parent is an M.Sc. Graduate from the program of Global and Community Nutrition in the Department of Dietetics at McGill. She is currently enrolled in the Masters of Education Technology Program at UBC and she works as an Assistant Online Course Developer at TLS. Her greatest passions include cooking and exploring healthy recipes, practicing yoga and spending time in nature.

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