Digital Learning Blog

End of the Semester Self-Reflection

October 24, 2023  / Digital Learning  / Tags: end of the semester, Reflection, Online Teaching

      woman looking in mirrorEnd of the Semester Self-Reflection 

At the end of the semester, most instructors are ready to put their tools down, run for the nearest exit, and try not to think about work for at least a few weeks; but the end of the semester is a great time to assess, reflect and maybe make one or more small changes to your course before the next iteration. That’s where reflective teaching can help.

Using a self-reflection guide can assist you in making decisions about what to change and what to leave alone. The self-reflections below will help steer you through examining your teaching. The Basic Reflective Model targets your own experiences in the course, while the Comprehensive Reflection Model gets to the students’ experience. 

The following models are designed to be used for self-reflection on your course. This is an opportunity to determine what improvements or changes might be needed as well as a resource to identify and share with colleagues and supervisors what is working well.

Basic Reflective Model

The basic model can be used at the end of the semester but is also a good tool to use after each lecture or week of instruction.

    • What went well? Why do you think it went well?
    • What did not go as well as you had hoped? Why do you think there were challenges?
    • What will you do differently next time? How will you do this?

Comprehensive Reflective Model

The comprehensive model breaks down the reflection by categories to help you evaluate the various aspects of your course.

Constructive Alignment
Did I ensure that learning outcomes, instruction, and assessments match?

Did I determine content based on rationale (i.e. state standards, program requirements, sequence of course, etc.)?
Was the content relevant and meaningful?
Did the scope and sequence of content build throughout the course?

Instructional Design
Was the course presented in an organized, clear, systematic format?
Did the content build and scaffold on prior learning?
Did I consider how different types of students would navigate this course?

Student Success and Engagement
Did I provide support and resources for students to be successful?
Did I offer frequent feedback and connections?
Did I provide robust expectations that were reasonable and realistic for the level of course and students enrolled?
Did I provide opportunities for students to connect with faculty, peers, content, and experiences?
Did the assessments focus on deep student learning?
Were the students able to demonstrate mastery of knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions?

Authentic Assessment
Did I include “real-life” authentic activities?
Did I include service learning or experiential opportunities?

Inclusive Practices
Did I create a sense of community and belonging?
Did I respect diverse perspectives and life experiences? 

Universal Design for Learning
Did I provide a range of ways to engage and motivate students (engagement)?
Did I provide a range of ways to present material (representation)?
Did I provide a range of ways for students to demonstrate mastery of knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions (expression)?

Teaching with Technology
Did I include technology that is cohesive with the pedagogy and content of the course?
Did the technology I used increase access to learning opportunities and creative expression? Did my technology choices create barriers for students?
Did I apply digital accessibility?

(Adapted from EHE Distance Education and Learning Design)

Professional Development Offerings

After you have completed your self-reflection, you will have a better idea of what you are doing well and what you need to improve.  Anytime is a great time to participate in one of our online, self-directed professional development offerings.  Please contact your Instructional Designer if you have any questions.

Digital Learning Professional Development Offerings

Additional Resources