Almost at the finish line (Teaching Tip)

Campanile at Iowa State University during spring time

Over a decade ago, I participated in my first marathon. Despite being exhausted, the last two miles were my two best miles because the end was in sight. I knew that I would accomplish the goal that I had spent months preparing for. We are mere weeks away from the end of the semester. What could you do in the next class session to help your students and yourself see the finish line?

Review course objectives

Consider spending the first 2-5 minutes of an upcoming class period asking students to reflect on the new knowledge and skills they have gained from your course. You could ask students to examine the course objectives as outlined on your syllabus and rank them (either using paper or Top Hat – use the Sorting type of question) from their most to least confident. This information, combined with your knowledge of students’ progress in your course can help inform your final exam preparations.

Ask for their questions regarding final assessments

It is also a great time to display the course schedule. Remind students of the tremendous progress that has been made and ask for their questions on upcoming exams, projects, and assignments. If you have a particularly talkative class, this can be accomplished through verbal feedback. Alternatively, providing them a means to write down or type the responses and submit via a Canvas ungraded survey allows for the opportunity to clarify and hopefully improve their success on final assessments.

Student Ratings of Teaching

In the coming weeks, students will receive emails asking them to complete the student ratings of teaching. Students often do not understand why these are important to instructor’s formative plans to improve the class and summative annual reviews. To help provide guidance for students providing useful feedback, share the Providing useful and constructive feedback webpage with your students.

Finally remind your students that learning is hard work. There is an overabundance of neuroscience research that proper nutrition, adequate sleep, and fitness supports good health as well as improved learning.*

With a joy for teaching,

Sara Marcketti, Director
Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching

*Doyle, T., Zakrajsek, T., & Gabriel, K. (2019). The new science of learning: How to learn in harmony with your brain / Terry Doyle and Todd Zakrajsek; foreword by Kathleen F. Gabriel. (Second ed.).

Full Teaching Tip

View the published CELT Teaching Tip: The 10,000-hour rule applied to improving your teaching (April 18, 2019 – Constant Contact) website.

Prefer a Print version?

To view the Teaching Tip as a printable document with web addresses, download the CELT Teaching Tip for April 18, 2019 (PDF)