The “muddiest point” is an assessment technique used to gauge student understanding of material presented in class or in assigned readings. Ann Carlson of Western Washington University’s Teaching and Learning Center has a great explanation of how this technique can be used.

At the end of class, ask your students to write down on a piece of paper or an index card what they may not have understood from the day’s class — what points are still not clear. Make sure that students do not sign their name. Collect these cards and pieces of paper. Look through the cards and determine how you will address some of these points before the next class. One way to address some of the confusion is to create a brief Tegrity video (six minutes or less) that directly addresses the most common muddy points.

Carlson cautions against overusing the muddiest point exercise as you’re asking students to wrap up your class by dwelling on the parts they didn’t understand, thus ending class on a negative note.