M04 - How Do I Provide Comprehensible Input in Synchronous Online Sessions? (June 23-25)
M03 - How Do I Use Realia and Props in the Online Environment? (June 20-22)
M02 - How Do I Provide Culturally Relevant Visual Input? (June 16-18)
2 of 3

4.1 – Checking for Understanding


What techniques have you used to discover if, and to what extent, all of your students—not just a few—know and are able to complete a learning target? Take a few moments to reflect on this question before reading further.

Checking for Understanding

Important components of comprehensible input are monitoring techniques to gauge how well students understand or comprehend your input to them. In this section, we’ll explore “Checking for understanding”, perhaps the most basic and frequently used of these monitoring techniques. 

Checking for understanding provides just-in-time feedback that allows students to learn and for teachers to modify their practice. We check for understanding through a variety of techniques to monitor our students’ current understanding of what we are teaching.  In many instances, these techniques are referred to as “formative assessments”.  In this section, you’ll learn about the importance of “Checking for Understanding” through reading, exploring, observing and assessing yourself.  You will likely recognize some of the techniques mentioned for monitoring student progress toward understanding.  As you explore this section, think about how this concept applies to an online synchronous session.  For example, you might think about the value of being able to see a student’s face during the lesson, which, unless each student is visible via their webcam, you can’t access as a source of input for determining whether or not students understand. 

We’ll explore this topic through three different resources from STARTALK, each in a different format.  Each is numbered below, beginning with an overview of the concept of “checking for understanding.” 

1) To begin, click on the following link to download and read this overview document from STARTALK: Checking for Understanding (Links to an external site.).  Now, think back to your own practices. Do you recognize any non-verbal and verbal response checks for understanding described here? Consider which examples listed in this overview document you could use or modify for use for your CSUSB microteaching. 

2) After you have read the overview document, watch the short video below.  As you watch, notice how the teachers check for understanding. Think about how these techniques apply to a synchronous, online teaching episode or lesson. 

3) Now that you’ve watched this TELL video, we’ll further explore the concept of checking for understanding through an infographic.  Download and review the following pdf infographic: Checking for Understanding: At-a-Glance Infographic (Links to an external site.)

4) To complete this section, you’ll take a short quiz that we are using as our own check for understanding.  You may take the quiz as many times as you like and use any resources as needed.  Please note the feedback on any items you miss.  Click the following link to take the quiz once you have finished read/viewing all items on this page:  Checking for Understanding Quiz

To Continue

Once you’ve completed this quiz, please continue to the next section, 4.2 – Assessment for Learning: A Growth Mindset, so that you can prepare for our web conference with Professor Andrea Guillaume. This mandatory web conference takes place today, Thursday, June 23 at 5:30 p.m. PT / 6:30 p.m. MT / 7:30 p.m. CT / 8:30 p.m. ET.

Scroll to Top