Pre-assessment activities serve several purposes: it allows the instructor to better understand what the learners already know and the instructor can then adjust the content and pace as needed. From a learner's perspective, pre-assessment activities facilitate the learner's ability to recall and review prior knowledge.
Pre-assessment Examples and Resources
Ask the participants to reflect on the following three statements:
1. List 3 things you already know about [topic x] ....
2. List 2 things you would like to know about [topic x] ...
3. List 1 question you have about [topic x] ...
A Carousel of Catalysts
"Craft a handful of powerful pre-assessment questions that will enable you to understand the needs of your students. Post each question at the top of its own chart, and hang the charts around your classroom. Ask students to carousel from one to another, adding their responses to each question to the corresponding charts" (source).
First and Final Thoughts
"Prior to beginning your study, ask students to share their initial thoughts regarding what they are about to learn, what they are most compelled by, and where their personal interests and needs might be best satisfied. Use this information to adjust the instructional plan. Ask them to revisit and revise these statements at the end of the learning experience in order to describe their levels of satisfaction" (source).
Free software, such as Kahoot or Poll Everywhere, can be used to create online polls, surveys and quizzes to assess the prior knowledge of the participants. Instructors need to create an account and set-up the questions ahead of time.
Provide self-assessment worksheet
Show of hands-based questions on experience with the topic
Rate your comfort / knowledge with the topic on a scale 1 to 5