Helping Students Explore Ideas and Make a Stance – Compass Points

Oct 18, 2018 | Ed-Tech, Instructional content

Light Bulb Thinking Routines are a constant source of interest and excitement as I explore Socrative use cases. In this particular occasion, I was seeking a routine to help students evaluate current events, political decisions, and school policies. How could we structure a way to help students explore the topic and then eventually formulate arguments for making decisions or choosing a pathway?

For example, the school may be considering the idea of banning food in class, a character in a book might be confronted with a difficult personal decision, or a politician might be suggesting a change to a town policy.

Use these four directions from Project Zero’s Compass Points
  • E = Excited – What excites you about this idea or proposition? What’s the upside?
  • W = Worrisome – What do you find worrisome about this idea or proposition? What’s the downside?
  • N = Need to Know – What else do you need to know or find out about this idea or proposition? What additional information would help you to evaluate things?
  • S = Stance or Suggestion for Moving Forward – What is your current stance or opinion on the idea or proposition? How might you move forward in your evaluation of this idea or proposition?
How to use these compass points with Socrative

Short Answer – Ask one of the questions and have students respond at the same time. Project all the responses and lead a discussion. It’s your choice if you’d like to have it be anonymous or show their names.

Exit Ticket – End the class by asking students to work their way through all four points as they head out the door. Review them after class to see how the students’ thinking has progressed.

Extension – Put the activity report on your class blog or website for all to see and offer feedback. Once again, it’s your choice if it’s anonymous or not.

If you’d like to use this routine, import the quiz with SOC # SOC-7262053 and it’s yours!

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Ben Berte


Ben Berte is the founder and former CEO of Socrative. He is currently VP of Product at MasteryConnect.