Course Reflection — Do It Now!

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By Gerry Hess from Gonzaga University School of Law

Are your courses over for this term? Are your exams drafted? Graded? If so, congrats! But while your course is still fresh in your mind, take a little time to reflect and redesign.

Course Goals. What goals did your students achieve? Did they learn the doctrine, theory, skills, and values you hoped? Next time you teach the course, should you add or subtract major course goals?

Materials. What materials were particularly helpful to you and your students? What print and electronic materials are appropriate to maximize student learning the next time you teach the course?

Teaching and Learning Methods. What methods were most effective this term? Least effective? What assignment s and exercises most engaged students? Could you make more effective use of out-of-class learning experiences for students (student preparation for class, CALI exercises, experiential learning, etc.)?

Feedback. How did you give students feedback on their performance during the course? Did you get feedback from students about your teaching and their learning during the course? How might you give and receive feedback next time around?

Evaluation and Grading. Did your evaluation scheme (exams, papers, participation) reflect your major goals for the course? How well did your student’s perform? Did your grading rubric work effectively? What changes to the course might help students improve their performance?

Or ask yourself other questions relevant to the courses you just taught. Your reflections on your questions or the questions above can lead to a better course for you and your students.

Institute for Law Teaching and Learning