Ending the Semester Well

April 30, 2024

Ending the semester well is just as important as beginning the semester well. Closing out the semester should be intentional with your students. There are ways you can make your course memorable, make end of the year projects meaningful, and leave an impact on your students. Ending the semester well entails examining the course outcomes from multiple perspectives. According to the Faculty Focus Podcast, there are two phases to ending the semester. The two phases are looking inward and then looking outward.

Looking Inward

Looking inward means reflecting on what just happened. You can do this individually and with your students. Individually you can assess how successful the learning objectives and organization of the course played out. Additionally, you can assess which assignments supported those learning objectives well and which ones should be tweaked in the future. Assessing the successes and challenges of teaching is imperative to progress. Make clear notes so that you can refer back to your thoughts when revising your course in the future.

You can then reflect with your students. Carve out time for students to voice their own successes and challenges throughout the course. Offer post-tests, reflection assignments, or evaluation material as a way to prompt students to reflect on the course. It is also important to celebrate the end of the course and the knowledge that learners have gained. Creatively thinking of different ways to congratulate the class and presenting an ending point will leave your students with a meaningful experience.

Looking Outward

Looking outward means preparing for the end and looking to the future. Preparing yourself and your students to look outward and use what was learned in the past semester will be valuable to ending the semester on a good note. Looking outward as an instructor means using the material and outcomes from the past class to build a foundation for the next semester. This is how you bring the reflection portion of closing a course into action. Change assignments or the organization of course materials that maybe didn’t go as planned and affirm those that were successful.

As the instructor, you also want to help students understand how the course they just took will be applicable in their future. At the end of the semester you could ask your students to explain how they will use what they learned and how it will apply in a real world scenario. The goal of looking outward with students is to empower them to carry what they learned with them as they further their education or enter the work force. Another way to outwardly reflect is to inquire about what is next for your students. If you are teaching a senior course one idea is to leave a discussion board open so students can tell you and classmates what their future plans are.

Most importantly, ending the semester well means leaving yourself as a resource for students to come back to. Closing a class should always end with something, whether it is an assignment, a discussion, or an announcement, to signal the end of the course but not the end of a connection.

Get Ready for Summer 2024

Do you plan to teach this summer? Clemson Online is proud to announce this year’s Summer teaching initiative. We have timely opportunities for instructors to gain experience in online course creation, teaching with Canvas, and the Quality Matters course improvement process.

Upcoming Events

Kaltura Trainings May 10

Kaltura Basics I: 10:00-10:30 AM

Join this training to learn more about Kaltura, Clemson’s video storage solution. This training will cover accessing Kaltura, uploading videos into Kaltura, and embedding Kaltura videos into your Canvas courses. When registering, feel free to include any Kaltura-related questions you have.

Facilitated by Gray Jackson, Sr. Learning Tech Specialist.

Registration: Kaltura Basics I.

Kaltura Basics II: 11:00-11:30 AM

This training will cover using Kaltura Capture and basic editing for videos in Kaltura, including adding chapters, hotspots, and captions. When registering, feel free to include any Kaltura-related questions you have.

Facilitated by Gray Jackson, Sr. Learning Tech Specialist.

Registration: Kaltura Basics II. 

Kaltura Advanced I: 1:00-1:30 PM

Join this training to learn more about how to create a video quiz in Kaltura, how to add a video quiz as a Canvas assignment and view quiz results. This training will also cover how to instruct students on using Kaltura to submit their own video assignments. When registering, feel free to include any Kaltura-related questions you have.

Facilitated by James Butler, Digital Learning Strategist. 

Registration: Kaltura Advanced I.

Kaltura Drop-In: 2:00-3:00 PM

Drop in for one-on-one support with Kaltura. Whether you have a quick question or want a member of our team to help you edit, embed, or record with Kaltura, we are here to help!

With Gray Jackson (Sr. Learning Tech Specialist), James Butler and Millie Tullis (Digital Learning Strategists)

Ensure you are logged into Zoom with your Clemson ID to access this meeting. 

Zoom link for Drop-In

Clemson Online Spring 2024 Events Calendar

Review our Spring 2024 Events Calendar to see what Online Instruction Development opportunities await!

We have a robust lineup of topics and live training formats to support your use of Canvas and other e-learning tools. Topics cover demonstrations of using Kaltura, presentations on group assignments in online courses, and workshops to get your Canvas site ready to teach!

All of our live training is recorded. Registrants will automatically receive a link to that day’s video after it has been processed.

Contact Millie Tullis with any questions regarding these sessions.

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