As we near the Thanksgiving holiday, and with it the period of finals, there are many small things you can do now to end the semester with greater calm and clarity. Here are our top ideas for how to check-in with yourself, and with your teaching to set yourself up for future success.

Tweak your Canvas Grade Book

Prior to the end of the semester, it is a good idea to make sure that your Grade Book is accurately reflecting student progress towards their final grades. If you use an alternative grading scheme, or if your students are able to drop low scores on certain assignments, the Grade Book might not reflect their “real time” grade. If you’re not sure how to modify settings or you want to learn more about the Grade Book, drop into the ATS welcome bar and get quick help and tips.

Review end-of-semester student feedback questions

Some questions that worked in previous semesters may not be appropriate this semester, or you may want to add questions to address the unique challenges of this semester’s return to campus. Before you review your questions, you’ll want to take a look at the recent Report on Student Course Feedback prepared by a working group charged by the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs. This document gives a good overview of where we are now and UD, where we hope to go, and how student course feedback questions can be more thoughtfully developed.

Notes for your future self

Gather together your syllabi, class notes, and other teaching materials and write down some notes about what is working and what is not. You can look into your Canvas sites too, and see what students are accessing and what they are not. Then, write a letter to your future self and really send it, using FutureMe. You can collect your reflections, and then have them sent back to you before the start of the Spring semester, for example. This way, you’ve captured reflections when they are fresh, and you can focus on other matters during the busy end-of-the-year crunch.

Evaluate tools and skills

Most of our faculty colleagues have developed and used new teaching techniques that leverage digital or online tools this last year. This is a great moment to pause and carefully consider what is working well, and what you may not want to continue with. If there are 1 or 2 tools or Canvas features that you’d like to develop greater skills with, you can attend the Winter edition of KCTO and focus on building those skills before the start of the Spring semester. 

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