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Promote Deep Learning with Ranking Exercises: Examples and Tips

Ranking exercises are becoming increasingly popular in the education world as they encourage deep thinking and allow for a more efficient approach to developing evaluation skills. Ranking exercises provide a straightforward but effective method for students to show their understanding of complex topics and identify areas for improvement.

In this academic article, we will explore the mechanics of ranking exercises and discuss their benefits, with a particular emphasis on examples, tips, and how they promote deep learning and efficiency.

Ranking Exercises for Developing Evaluation Skills

Ranking exercises are valuable tools for promoting critical thinking and developing evaluation skills. Research methods and social change are just two examples of the tremendous variety of research topics that can be incorporated into ranking exercises.

By comparing various concepts and identifying key issues, students can develop a more nuanced understanding of complex themes that promote social change.

Examples of Ranking Exercises

A ranking exercise can be used in many ways, such as gender roles. For example, students could be given a set of cards that contain various roles typically associated with specific genders.

They could then spend some time identifying their own criteria for what makes a gender role more or less impactful on society. Afterwards, they can rank the cards in order of perceived value based on their criteria.

This exercise will enable the students to think about gender roles in a more structured way. Alternatively, a ranking exercise could be used in presentations.

After conducting research on a specific topic, students could be instructed to present their findings using power point slides. The students would then use ranking exercises to identify the most important findings in their research.

This exercise promotes holistic thinking as it allows the students to consider the project’s entire scope.

Tips for Using Ranking Exercises Effectively

Laminating the cards used in ranking exercises is a tip for ensuring that they survive multiple uses. Moreover, providing an easier way of following the exercise’s criteria with a set of clear instructions will benefit the students’ understanding.

Finally, it is important to remember to focus on the criteria, not on individual rankings. This will encourage students to form a more personal understanding of the topic.

Benefits of Ranking Exercises

Incorporating ranking exercises into classroom exercises promotes deep learning and enhances evaluation skills. This efficiency is critical in mainstream state education, where many topics must be covered in a short amount of time.

Deep Learning

Ranking exercises enable students to develop a desire to explore the topics in-depth. They prompt students to identify key issues and ask critical questions.

By identifying patterns, students can develop a more holistic understanding of complex themes. Furthermore, ranking exercises allow students to develop personal connections to topics.

By understanding what they believe is important and why, they can develop their ability to relate to material on a deeper level.


Ranking exercises have been demonstrated to be efficient. The structure of the exercise allows students to develop their evaluation skills quickly, which may not be accomplished through other academic exercises.

This efficiency is crucial, mainly if used in mainstream state education. Benefits of employing ranking exercises can be much greater when evaluating academic and personal topics.

Ranking exercises promote thinking and skill development, while also allow students to develop a better understanding of complex matters. Further research is needed to explore the advantages of ranking exercises in various topics, but the evidence thus far suggests that ranking exercises should be incorporated into more class activities.

Ranking Exercise Examples

Ranking exercises are not only suitable for students of various ages, but they are also appropriate for different education purposes. Students can rank specific topics, concepts or themes to identify those that are more significant or those that require careful consideration.

The following are some examples of ranking exercise that can be employed in various studies:

Ranking Research Methods

Research methods are the framework that guides every research study’s direction. Researchers’ lack of knowledge regarding research methods leads to ineffective or invalid research.

Ranking research methods helps students to identify which method should be employed in a particular study. For example, in the medical field, students can be given a list of the research method to rank, including case studies, randomized controlled trials, cross-sectional studies, and many more.

The exercise enables students to recognize which research method would be suitable to use in different research situations and helps them to assess the method’s validity and representativeness.

Ranking Research Topics

Ranking research topics offers students the opportunity to think critically about the salient issues in various topics. Parents’ values and children’s achievement, boys’ exclusion, white working-class underachievement, teacher’s labeling, ethnocentric curriculum, sexist ‘bullying’, and gender identity are some of the research topics that could be ranked.

Students can prioritize topics that need addressing or attention based on their perceptions of their importance in society. The ranking exercise promotes a holistic approach to the research study and enables students to consider research topics’ different aspects.

Ranking Social Change Causes

Ranking social change causes highlights the various reasons for social changes and enables students to provide an informed opinion on the most significant cause. Economic changes, children’s position, changing gender roles, post-modernization, and technological changes are some examples of the social change causes that could be employed.

This ranking exercise helps students to evaluate and identify significant causes of social change, leading them to develop a better understanding of the social change factors’ intricate nature. The exercise also enables students to consider social change mechanisms and how those mechanisms impact various sectors of society.

Double Whammy Ranking Exercise


Double Whammy Ranking Exercise requires students to rank oppression versus liberation. Students are given a set of jobs such as a police officer, nurse, CEO, politician, jailer, child carer, motherhood, fatherhood, or sexual harassment.

The students will be asked to rate each job based on whether they contribute to oppression or liberation. This exercise helps students to understand how different jobs or societal roles impact the social hierarchy and create power structures.

Additionally, the exercise prompts students to think critically about why certain roles are viewed as oppressive or liberating and who is affected by those social roles.


Ranking exercises are a valuable educational tool that promotes critical thinking and enhances evaluation skills. They offer students an opportunity to assess topics more critically, identify significant issues, and ask questions.

Employing ranking exercises in research methods, research topics, social change causes, and the Double Whammy ranking exercise provides students with the opportunity to flex their critical thinking muscles and become better scholars. By developing the skills to identify significant observations or phenomena, students become responsible and independent learners capable of working with and evaluating complex theories in various fields.

In summary, ranking exercises are crucial for developing evaluation skills and promoting deep learning in students. Through the examples and tips provided, educators can incorporate ranking exercises into the classroom, allowing students to approach complex topics with a more nuanced understanding.

Additionally, ranking exercises in research methods, research topics, social change causes, and the Double Whammy ranking exercise provide students with the opportunity to identify significant phenomena, leading them to become independent learners capable of working with complex theories across various fields. FAQs:

Q: Can the ranking exercises be used in any subject area?

A: Yes, ranking exercises can be incorporated into any subject area to help students develop critical thinking and evaluation skills. Q: Are there any tips for using ranking activities with younger students?

A: Simplify the instructions and criteria, use more visual aids such as pictures, and keep it concise. Q: How can ranking exercises promote deep learning?

A: By identifying patterns, students can develop a more holistic understanding of complex themes, and ranking exercises allow students to develop personal connections to topics. Q: Is it necessary to have clear criteria when doing a ranking exercise?

A: Yes, clear criteria allows students to focus on the concepts being evaluated and promotes the development of evaluation skills. Q: How can ranking exercises be used to teach social justice issues?

A: Ranking exercises can be a powerful tool for exploring and discussing issues such as oppression, privilege, and social justice.

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