Immediate Feedback Assessment Technique (IF-AT) forms are used in higher education to engage students with assessment. Students consider a question, choose a response, and scratch off answers like a lottery ticket until the correct answer is revealed. IF-AT forms (named after the idiom, “If at first you don’t succeed, try try again”) ensure that students have fun and leave class knowing the correct answer choice, a form of immediate feedback known to support learning. IF-AT forms have also been shown to reduce test anxiety (DiBattista et. al, 2006).
IF-AT forms have been used in team-based learning activities, as well as individual assessments. Instructors can obtain forms with varying numbers of question and answer versions: Epstein Education has a variety of online resources that explain how to order and use IF-AT forms in higher education. The following video clip highlights features of IF-AT forms in the classroom:
- Individual Assessment - Students are given a reading assignment for homework. At the beginning of class they are each given an IF-AT form to assess what they learned. The instructor leads a whole class discussion inviting students to present any points of confusion.
- Group Assessment - Students are assigned to groups and tasked with answering questions using an IF-AT form. They decide upon the answers as a group and scratch them off. They also defend their reasoning for answering certain ways.
- Conventional Team-Based Learning - The Team-Based Learning Collaborative offers a number of resources pairing IF-AT with the traditional method of team-based learning. This approach couples individual and group assessment. Students are given pre-class preparations such as reading or other assignments. When they arrive in class they are individually assessed on their learning from their homework by taking a Readiness Assurance Test (RAT) using an IF-AT form. This typically consists of a small number of multiple choice questions. Students then form groups and take the same assessment again collectively, after which the scores of each team are presented to the class. Both the individual and group assessment scores count towards their class grade. After these steps have been completed, students perform an in-class application activity allowing them to apply what they have learned.
- Design Multiple Choice Questions - Following best practices, instructors can design challenging multiple choice questions on IF-AT forms that engage higher orders of thinking in Bloom’s Taxonomy.
- Test Conceptual Knowledge - Instructors can use IF-AT forms to test students on their conceptual understanding rather than solely factual knowledge. This strategy enables students to grapple with key concepts and work towards application.
- Use as Assessment - The responses that students provide on IF-AT forms can be used to inform future instruction and thus provide formative feedback. For example, if many teams (or individuals) miss a question on a particular key concept, this data can be used by the instructor to modify future instruction.
- Explore the TBLC- Instructors may have a number of other questions about implementing team-based learning. They are encouraged to consult the Team-Based Learning Collaborative FAQ section.
DiBattista, D., and Gosse, L. (2006). Test Anxiety and the Immediate Feedback Assessment Technique. The Journal of Experimental Education 74.4: 311-327.