Wow – it’s the last week before finals. At this point in the semester, I experience an odd time divergence. Are we really at the end of this semester? It’s a good time to reflect on learning, growth and change, including celebrating the many accomplishments of campus community members.
In CETL weekly emails, I posted information from Mary Ellen Weimer, and I think it’s worth sharing again. Mary Ellen posited her ideas on end-of-the-semester reflections. I believe her questions can help us as we prepare for the final weeks of classes, and help us to consider our own growth as teachers, learners, and campus members:
- What do you think you will remember about Spring 2017 in five years?
- Are there students you will remember? Others you hope to forget?
- What were the best and worst moments in your courses or co-curricular work with students?
- How did your relationship with students begin, evolve and end?
- In your work, what seemed new and exciting and what needed work?
- If you could change one thing about your teaching and their learning next semester, what would it be?
The full article is available at http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/teaching-professor-blog/end-of-semester-reflections-beginnings-endings-and-spaces-between/.
Additionally, I invite those teaching in the classroom to review ideas on how course evaluations can be more productively used to help us evaluate and develop courses. Too often, we ask questions such as, “Was the instructor prepared” or “Did the instructor conduct classes in a way which held your attention and interest”. Shadiow and Weimer (2015) pose questions that can be used to help deepen our understanding of student learning, including:
- the approach I took to my own learning that contributed the most for me was…because…
- the biggest obstacle for me in my learning the material was… because…
- a resource I know about that you might consider using is…because…
The full article with a lot of ideas is at http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/philosophy-of-teaching/a-new-twist-on-end-of-semester-evaluations/. If you’d like to work on a course evaluation that is more productive and includes ideas related to inclusivity, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or x8486.