Background Knowledge Probes


Please check out one of my classmate’s digital projects on Background Knowledge Probes:

One thing I really appreciate about this particular video is that she not only created a video, but also did her own audio. Anyone who has tried to make videos knows it can be a challenge–it is even more challenging when it comes to doing voiceovers. So KUDOS!

I think Background Knowledge Probes are very useful and important strategy. In some ways, I almost think it’s a necessary component to a good lesson, as it helps you determine the level of knowledge of the class.

This is also a strategy that is applicable to almost any teaching context. I recently suggested this technique to a colleague that needed to survey the knowledge level of his large team. This was not for training reasons directly but rather a survey to help assist a new manager getting to know the team. Originally, his plan was to do random quality audits, but he was finding it very difficult to assess the breadth of topics needed. Using the idea of Background Knowledge probe, I helped him develop a self assessment scale ranging from I don’t recognize the content of the question to I could teach someone the content of the question. With this he was able to quickly assess a wide range of topics for a large team.



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