Reading quizzes account for 20% of the final grade in my ENH 254 ( Literature and Film) class. I decided last spring to change up my quizzes for each novel my students read in class. I subscribe to teaching ideas from ON COURSE, so it was a strange coincidence that I soon received an idea from them that I knew I had to try: The SPUNKI. The SPUNKI is a reading rubric that asks students to answer six questions, “What part or parts of the reading did you find Surprising?, Puzzling?, Useful?, New?, Knew it already?, Interesting?” I've used the SPUNKI for two semesters now, and it's made a huge difference in how students approach the reading. Our class discussion usually center on their SPUNKI responses, so students know that they need to write thoughtfully and critically.
Frustrated with the responses your students are giving you on their quizzes? Are they bored or not actively engaged in the assigned reading(s)? Try the SPUNKI. Trust me, you won't regret it!