I see it on the horizon and know it is coming- but the somewhat frenetic few weeks at the end of the semester always seems to catch me a bit off-guard. One of the things I have tried to implement over the past few semesters is to think purposefully about how I want to wrap up my course. Rather than just be swept along with the pressure of limited time and energy to finish the course, I’ve reflected on the arc of the course over the semester and have led my students through doing the same thing. We did this activity in class just this past Tuesday. I asked them to think about where their skills and abilities were back in August compared to the where they were when they completed their last project before Thanksgiving. I reiterated some of the learning outcomes I had for the course and how they achieved them giving specific examples of assignments they completed. We talked about bigger picture issues like how what they accomplished in this course will prepare them for being professionals in the industry. We laughed about some of the funny things that happened during the semester too. And, as I looked around the room I could see from their expressions they too comprehended what they had accomplished as a result of their effort and engagement in the course. I’ve found this activity helps give both the students and me a sense of closure.
If you haven’t already done it, I encourage you to think about how you want to wrap up your course and what message you want to leave with your students. If you’re not sure where to start or are looking for new ideas take a look at Ball State’s Ending a Course for some suggestions.