Part 6: Reflect and Plan
That’s a wrap! The term just ended and grades are in. Now what?
Here in STS, we’d suggest that you first take some time to celebrate your successes. Then you can take a step back and ask a couple important questions: First, what did you learn from your students and your teaching experiences this term? Second, how will you apply that knowledge to improve your course in the future?
What did you learn this term?
Consider taking a structured approach to reflection. In his book Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher, Stephen Brookfield proposes four lenses for examining your teaching (adapted from the Berkely Center for Teaching & Learning’s “Reflective Teaching” post):
How will you improve your course in the future?
Just like your students, you learned and grew over the course of the semester. Now, think about how you’ll strategically adjust your teaching methods and approaches based on what you learned. Consider these areas:
- Teaching strategies: Did students struggle with any specific course concepts or materials? Can you incorporate new teaching strategies to help them better engage with those concepts? To learn about high-leverage teaching methods, you can explore the Instructional Moves website from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the Pedagogies and Strategies page from the Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching.
- Aligning Objectives, Activities, and Assessments: How well did the class activities and assignments align with your learning goals and/or course objective(s)? To learn more about aligning activities with objectives, see “Align Assessments, Objectives, Instructional Strategies” from Carnegie Mellon’s Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence & Educational Innovation.
- Information sharing: Are there additional course policies or campus resources that you’d like to add to the syllabus or Canvas course site?
The end of the term is a valuable moment to reflect on your course and plan for future iterations. You can improve both your and your future students’ class experiences by reflecting on your course and planning for future iterations.
Carnegie Mellon University. (n.d.). Align assessments, objectives, instructional strategies. Align Assessments, Objectives, Instructional Strategies – Eberly Center – Carnegie Mellon University. Retrieved March 20, 2023, from https://www.cmu.edu/teaching/assessment/basics/alignment.html
Instructional moves. Instructional Moves. (n.d.). Retrieved March 20, 2023, from https://instructionalmoves.gse.harvard.edu/
Mcdaniel, R. (1970, January 14). Pedagogies & Strategies. Vanderbilt University. Retrieved March 20, 2023, from https://cft.vanderbilt.edu/teaching-guides/pedagogies-and-strategies/
Reflective teaching. Reflective Teaching | Center for Teaching & Learning. (2020, December 15). Retrieved March 20, 2023, from https://teaching.berkeley.edu/news/reflective-teaching
The UDL guidelines. UDL. (2022, September 2). Retrieved March 20, 2023, from https://udlguidelines.cast.org/