The academic year is over. You’ve completed your teaching responsibilities, including having submitted final grades after lots of marking. You close your eyes, heave a sigh of relief, and get ready to come down from an adrenaline high.
But wait—before you put this year’s teaching behind you, think about doing an “after term review.” University professor Loleen Berdahl describes this structured, efficient, and manageable way—a recommended 15 to 30 minutes per course—to reflect on your teaching and capture important information that can save time when you start planning your courses in the future. Right after you finish teaching is an optimal time to reflect on your courses because experiences are fresh in your mind. By giving top-of-mind responses to a handful of questions in five areas—syllabus review, feelings, evaluation, analysis, and conclusion and action plan—you can gather important insights to inform your future course design considerations. As Berdahl describes in a University Affairs article entitled Using an after term review to improve teaching:
“… don’t feel the need to act on anything. This is not the time to redesign the course; only to capture your impressions while they are still fresh.
This small investment of time can save you considerable time in the future. Months from now, your memories of what worked and what fell flat will have faded. Having the after term review information will allow you to focus your next course design on the areas you want to improve and prevent you from tinkering with the parts that worked.”
Read the full article.
Associate Director, Faculty and Teaching Development, and Senior Academic Associate, at McGill's Teaching and Learning Services; former Senior Faculty Lecturer at the McGill Writing Centre; area of specialization: Second Language Education; loves teaching and learning!
(Photo credit: Owen Egan)