As the semester nears its end, it’s useful to have the students review what they’ve learned as a way to help them integrate all the topics. It’s also useful to us to gather information on which parts of the course might require revision over the summer. Here’s an activity that you can use for both these purposes. It can be completed in or out of class and can be a great way to generate discussion in an online or blended course.
This activity will help you look back over the semester, reflect on the course, identify the four or five most important points you have learned, and tie them together. It is similar to the Take-Home Lessons activity, but slightly more structured. By completing this activity, you will:
1. Recall: Make a list - in words or simple phrases - of what YOU recall as the most important, useful, or meaningful items you've learned this semester. Choose three to five main points from your list and rank them in order of importance.
2. Summarize: Summarize the ranked items in your list into one summary sentence that captures the essence of the course.
3. Question: Write one or two questions that still remain unanswered.
4. Connect: Explain in one or two sentences the connection(s) between your summary and the major goals of the entire course. (You may want to look back at the course goals and the student learning outcomes as listed on the syllabus to complete this section.)
5. Comment: Write an evaluative comment or two about the course. Here are a few possible comment stems you can use as starting points: "What I enjoyed most/least was..." or "What I found most/least useful was..." or "During most of the course, I felt..."
If the course is online or blended, you can add the following two steps:
6. Post your completed RSQC2 activity to the appropriate forum on the Discussion Board.
7. Respond to at least two of your classmates' posts.
To follow up on any of these ideas, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. This Weekly Teaching Note was adapted from a contribution to the Teaching and Learning Writing Consortium sponsored by Western Kentucky University.
Francine Glazer, PhD
Assistant Provost and Director,
Center for Teaching and Learning
New York Institute of Technology
Weekly Teaching Notes: 2014-2015 Index
Include High-Impact Teaching Practices to Make Learning Stick
Use Elements of Cognitive Constructivism to Design Effective Learning Activities
Develop Expertise in Students by Creating Cognitive Apprenticeships
Improving Student Learning with (Almost) No Grading