Finals are over and hopefully mostly graded. The real end is in sight and our eyes are all firmly fixed ahead toward the quiet green of summer. However, right now there’s a great opportunity to do as much to improve your teaching next semester as anything. This is a great moment to reflect on how your course(s) went. What worked? What didn’t? Ask yourself some simple hard questions and capture your candid responses – take advantage of this while-the-iron-is-hot moment and your future self may thank you.

Finals are over. Another term has come and gone—another for the history books.

How was it?

This is a great moment to reflect on how your course(s) went. What worked? What did you think about changing last time, didn’t this time, but think you might next time?

Our eyes are all firmly fixed ahead toward the quiet green of summer, but right now there’s a great opportunity to do as much to improve your teaching next semester as anything. Ask yourself some simple hard questions and capture your candid responses—take advantage of this while-the-iron-is-hot moment and your future self may thank you.

Here are a few to get you started:

  • What is one thing, the first thing that comes to mind, you would like to change in your course for next time?   
  • How well did your students attain your intended or designed learning objectives? Is there something you can change to improve these results?
  • How well engaged were your students? What might you do to improve this?
  • How closely did your assessments relate to what you hoped students would understand and be able to do?
  • Were you satisfied with the tools, methods & modes of your instruction?
  • What did you hope or plan for but pull back from in the face of reality? Do you plan to try again?
  • Did you find joy in your teaching? Can you add more?
  • What did you learn? What do you want to learn next time?
  • What improvements to your course would you like help with?*

Reflection activities can enrich the student learning experience and capturing our own reflections from the semester can be a valuable tool in our own teaching practice. A few moments of reflection amidst the aftermath of the semester can be far more valuable than hours of consideration when you return to the subject cold and flat-footed. Even just a few scrawls on yellow sticky notes can help your brain recall the experiences which may be lost in the long (hopefully not smoky) days of summer. If you like, write your answers on the whiteboard in your office or tape them above your computer. Paste them into a calendar appointment for yourself on some future date, and/or if you are interested, share them using a brief online Socrative.com survey (use the room QNHJNKHHJ).

Lastly, congratulations on the term behind and best wishes for grading your way through those last finals. Have a great summer!

*The eLearning & Distance Education Instructional Design Team is working all summer and will be providing a variety of open labs and workshops. See our events calendar at https://iteachu.uaf.edu/events/ and stop by. Bring your list! If there is something specific you would like help with, please come see us or give us a call. We are here to help!