My department has been meeting over the last month to discuss how we want to quantify and understand student activity and achievement over the course of the year. Are the graduate students fulfilling the expectations and the goal of the program, and how do we know that? It has been a long process. Something I’ve learned from it, and through my own experiences in the classroom, is the importance of wording. If something is not completed defined, then people are going to interpret it in so many different ways. I am amazed at how often I have asked a question in a way I thought was so clear, yet my students will view it completely differently. I realize that, yes, the students are interpreting it in a correct way, just not my “correct.” Really, the only thing I can do is improve the wording the next time around and try to account for all possible interpretations. Further, I provide critical feedback. I realize that this is inevitable, but I wonder if there truly is a way to write a “perfect” question where allows for variability but the student’s respond in the best way. The way something is asked will always be interpreted differently, especially if I want a written response. I want to stay away from multiple choice, where there is only one “right” way to ask. This is a constant struggle for me, especially as I move toward written, open, application type questions.