Published: Nov. 1, 2016

Whether you teach large lectures with 200+ students or classes of less than ten, this tip is for you. “Anti-Sets” and “Closures” require very little investment of time to create (Can you spare five minutes?) and ensure students are critically thinking about your course material. Think of them as a “warm-up” and a “cool-down” during the first and last couple of minutes of class. They also offer students a guaranteed point of self-reflection and self-assessment during class, building metacognition. If you have lecture slides, I recommend adding a first and last slide with your selected “Anti-set” and “Closure” activities. Below are two examples as well as a chart with six categories of activities/structures to select from when designing your own.

Antiset and Closure example from Life Sciences class. View PDF for text.

(Click on Image to Open | by Dr. Marti)

The first pair is from a science course. The anti-set is the first slide students see as the walk in the room and the closure is the last slide shown during the last couple of minutes of class. When these slides come up, you train your students to write for the time alloted to them.


Antiset and Closure example from Bio class. View PDF for text.

(Click on Image to Open | by Tara Gilboa)







The second pair are examples from a professional development workshop about "Building Community" in your classroom for faculty. In reference to the categories of activities/structures below, this Anti-Set is from the “Essential Skills/Structures” column and is an example of “Multi-leveled open ended questions.” The double diamond extension offers both an “Organizing Thinking” example should students create a "Graph" or “Symbol” example should they chose to draw a comic strip. The closure is a classic “3-2-1” example from the “Organizing Thinking” category.

For my ideas for how to structure anti-sets and closures please click on the chart below. Interested in implementing this trick in your course next semester? Contact a Teaching & Learning Consultant with ASSETT to get started. 

Antisets and Closures Chart thumbnail. View PDF for text.

(Click on Image to Open)