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"A Letter to The Teacher"

Near the end of the semester, students are asked to reflect on their learning in the class in the form of a letter.

Step-By-Step Procedure

  1. Near the end of the semester or after a significant event/lesson, ask students to reflect on their learning experience(s) in the format of a letter.
  2. Provide students with an explanation such as the following: Please reflect on the learning you have done on teams this semester using the format of "A Letter to The Teacher". I have provided you with the first line to your letter, Dear (your name).
  3. Also, explain why you want them to write you a letter and indicate what kinds of information you would like. Indicate the length you would prefer and any other restrictions.
  4. Reinforce that the grade will be based on completion only and that completion will be based on answering the questions that you pose.
  5. After you have had time to reflect upon their letters, follow up in kinds with "A Letter to the Class," sharing what you learned from this letter and what changes you plan to make based on their feedback.

Benefits

  1. Students tend to speak more freely because they are using their own voice.
  2. It provides students with an opportunity to reflect on their own learning.
  3. It provides qualitative feedback, not necessarily obtained from evaluation forms.

References

Rando, W.C. Learning From Students: Early Term Student Feedback in Higher Education. University Park: National Center on Postsecondary Teaching, Learning, and Assessment, 1994. 11. Print.

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