Academic Continuity
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By: Martha Diede, Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence, Syracuse University

In two weeks, we’ll complete this Spring semester. Students will have to submit their final work for your classes and for their other classes. Everyone is working from home, which might not offer the optimal environment. So how can we finish well together? A few suggestions:

  • Remind students to start their semester-end projects if they haven’t already.
  • Look at your course outcomes. Have students produced work that demonstrates meeting those outcomes?
    • If so, do you have to require a final? Could they work on a small project to help them cement their learning in your course? Could you ask them to apply course concepts to a real-life challenge? Perhaps they could write a short paragraph reflecting on what they have learned this semester or what they have learned about themselves as they have transitioned mid-semester to a different form of learning.
    • If not, what might they suggest as a way to demonstrate that they have achieved the learning outcomes? What ideas do they have for showing what they have learned and are able to do? Can you design a small assignment that will give them the opportunity to demonstrate their learning?
  • Regardless of how you plan to have students finalize their work for the semester, having them reflect on this experience and the ways in which it changed their learning process can be a powerful learning tool. Ask them to address writing prompts such as:
    • Describe what was easier or more difficult about learning off campus.
    • What standards do you have for yourself as a learner? How well did you meet those standards this semester? Why?
    • Compare your process for studying at the beginning of the semester to your process for studying after the transition to remote learning. What did you notice? What changes did you make?
    • If you could tell your pre-transition self something to have made the transition easier, what would you say?
    • Think about your future employer. What did you learn during this experience that will make you a better employee?
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