CIPs Teaching Tips – Fall 2012 #13 “now and then”

Happy it’s-officially-the-last-day-of-class for fall 2012. Here are a few tips about now – finals week – and then – getting ready for next semester.


If you have the luxury of enough time during your final meeting to review the semester with your students consider asking them to do the following: Create a method for capturing student responses to the prompts suggested below that allows students to see each other’s’ responses. You could use poster-sized “Post Its” or have students write on the board. (You might choose to capture responses with a phone or digital camera.) Online instructors can use a wiki type document or ask students to post and then respond with comments and examples in a discussion forum.


*What was the best thing about this class?

*What was the most challenging thing about this class?

*What was your favorite thing you learned in this class?

*What do you think you’ll use most in the future from this class?


Ask students to walk around and write their responses on the board or large papers – more than one student can respond at once. Afterwards, discuss the responses as a group – who agrees or feels differently; examples of what was said. Use the opportunity to help students “own” what they’ve learned, to become aware of it in a way that enables them to use it outside of class. Also, take note of your students’ experiences – what worked and didn’t work and make note of it for the next time you teach the course.

***Take a moment to read this article in “Faculty Focus” if you’d like a little confidence booster about how much learning continues AFTER the semester is over. Think about what you’ve taught your students as being similar to something you remove from the microwave and put on the counter – it continues to cook a little more even though it’s no longer in the cooking environment.


Once classes are over and finals are graded and you begin to think about next semester, consider the following suggestions for areas you might want to tweak. Intentionally create an improved semester by altering your instructional design.

INCREASE interactive learning

  • design a learning activity that:
    •  provides a metaphor or a concrete abstract for a new concept
    • makes students aware of a concept’s connection to them
    • prompts students to explore their views
    • requires students to weight in or participate

CREATE NEW assignments

  • design an assignment that:
    • requires higher level of thinking (more rigorous)
    • is more interactive
    • integrates a greater number of concepts
    • uses a new or several new delivery methods

MANAGE expectations

  • design a plan to communicate expectations:
    • early in the semester
    • repeatedly over the semester
    • in multiple ways over the semester
  • design a response for when students do not meet expectations
  • design instructions that increase clarity but do not decrease expectations
  • design the flow and format of each class and how you will make students aware of it
  • design a mid-semester or other periodic check-in with students
  • design easily accessible instructions on the LMS

IMPROVE grading

  • design a cycle of grading that takes all of your courses into consideration
  • design a rubric or other method for identifying and evaluating an assignment’s criteria
  • design assignments that cover multiple outcomes in order to reduce the amount of grading
  • design a plan for only grading what an assignment has been designed to demonstrate

Here’s to good endings AND good beginnings,


CIP, Center for Instructional Practice

Cinse Bonino, Director

Located on the second floor of the Miller Information Commons (the library) across from the printer – MIC 205

Contact Director Cinse Bonino for a one-on-one CIP instructional design session:

Email: or Phone: 802 651 5965 Skype: cinse.cip


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s