Post-Semester Course Reflections

Reflecting on your courses soon after they have ended is a great way to identify what is working well and what you could change in future iterations of the same course or in other courses.

Collecting Feedback

There are a variety of sources of feedback about your course. During the reflection process, take a look at these documents and resources to identify evidence of teaching effectiveness and possible action items for future courses.

Your Class Reflections. If you’re not doing so already, consider starting a Google doc for each course where you can record your after-class thoughts for future reference.

Midterm Course Reflection Responses. See this page for information about how to administer this reflection in your classes.

Reports of Student Experience (RSEs). As of spring 2022, these are accessible via the Anthology platform. See this page for more information about how to interpret your RSE responses.

Classroom Observation Reports. If you’re untenured, the tenured members of your department should be observing your classes on a regular basis and written reports from each observation should be provided to you.

Student Reflection Assignments. Consider assigning reflection assignments either during the semester, perhaps after each major assessment (exam, paper, etc.), or as part of a capstone assignment at the end of the semester.

Reflection Strategies

Here are some of the approaches you could use to reflect on your courses, together with some associated resources.

Annotate Your Syllabus. Starting with a copy of your syllabus, read through the different components of your course and make notes about which pieces worked well and which could be improved next time you teach the course. Reading your syllabus may spark some thoughts or memories that may not have occurred to you otherwise.

Reflection 1 – Successes and Challenges. Use this worksheet to complete a simple reflection on what worked, what didn’t, and what you could change. If you’d like an editable version of this worksheet, click here and save a copy in your Drive. For more information about this reflection approach, see Reflecting on the Semester (Oakland University).

Reflection 2 – Learning Goals and Engagement. If you want to dig more deeply into how well students achieved the course goals, how engaged they were, and how you might align these aspects of your course, try this worksheet. If you’d like an editable version of this worksheet, click here and save a copy in your Drive. For more information about this reflection approach, see End-of-Semester Reflection: A Tool to Improve Future Courses (Notre Dame) and End of Semester Teaching Reflection Activities (University of Nebraska).

Reflective Course Review Process. If you’d like to dig more deeply into the course reflection process, take a look at Steven McGahan’s 2018 article in the Journal of Educators Online, Reflective Course Review And Revision: An Overview Of A Process To Improve Course Pedagogy And Structure. In this article, he describes a five-step process: “set revision goals; review course structure, content, and assignments; integrate student feedback; record reflections, findings, and observations; and implement revisions.”