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End Of Semester Takeaways

  • Last Day of ClassesAll that remains is the final...and then the grading, and the calculation of final grades, and the entering of grades. And then a couple of weeks to brace myself for my intersession course. I’m a Fifty Minute Man, so I’m not that excited to be teaching a 4 hour and 20 minute class 4 days a week for a few weeks....but they do pay me for it, which eases the pain a bit.

    I only had one class this semester, and it seemed like a very short semester to me. I guess that’s partially because I incorrectly added an extra week of classes to my personal calendar, so
    imagine my surprise when I realized that I only had two weeks left instead of three! Oops. Not a big deal though. I managed to cover the important stuff effectively. My students were a pretty good group. A little quieter than usual, but still engaged and thoughtful. I have a suspicion that some of them are looking at the world a little bit differently after taking my course, so that’s a cool feeling.

    Reflecting on the semester has made me look at how I can make my course better and perhaps, more efficient. I’ll be cutting some content and taking some new ideas for a spin next semester. Maybe I’ll even overhaul my syllabus. Because of my aforementioned calendar error, the biggest change I'll most likely make is that I'm going to revisit the very few videos I use in class. They take up about two and a half classes in total time, so I may go the "flipped classroom" route with them next semester, just to provide some more time for classroom discussion. Up to now, I have interrupted the videos to provide some context and commentary, so I'll have to find a way to make sure the students understand what and why they're watching.


    My ultimate takeaway from this semester though, is the reaffirmation that I really enjoy being in the classroom.


    How was your semester?

    What are your takeaways?


  • Eugene Matthews likes this
  • Eugene Matthews
    Eugene Matthews This semester, the key take-away for me was resilience. Being flexible, adaptable, and prepared for unexpected changes is a required part of living the academic dream. So, I used 'the cloud' to back up all my non-confidential files, lesson plans, presenta...  more
    December 12, 2013 - 3 like this
  • Kathy Munoz
    Kathy Munoz My semester was great! I teach two asychronous courses each semester using Moodle. For the most part, I keep up on grading each week which makes the end of the semester fairly easy. Like you Bob, I reflect on my courses as they unfold. I maintain an o...  more
    December 12, 2013 - 2 like this
  • Cassie Hemphill
    Cassie Hemphill Bob, same way you did: Tightened up the last couple of weeks. Still accomplished the same things but with a lot less wiggle room! Students didn't notice, but I was certainly more stressed.
    And I agree, Eugene: "Resilience" is the key, not just f...  more
    December 12, 2013 - 1 likes this
  • Robert  Ostrow
    Robert Ostrow Excellent commentary of your teaching strategies. As I said in blogs past, the videos give some realism, to an otherwise piece of the world that never moves in a classroom. A section on computer hacking introduced by a Frontline video by the same name. I ...  more
    December 21, 2013