Learning From Experience

Time required: Variable

Grading: None

Disciplines:  All

Why:  Documenting your work from semester to semester provides ideas and motivation for course revision and improvement.

How:  Consider implementing all or some of the following:

  • Maintain good files of your teaching materials that are complete and orderly
  • Save examples of student work and your comments; these can help you remember what worked well and what didn’t, and can provide models/examples for future classes (ask authors for permission if you think you may be distributing their work in a future semester)
  • Start or maintain a teaching journal
    • Ideally, make a few notes after each class period
    • Also consider recording summaries of course evaluations at the end of each semester
  • Invite a colleague to visit and evaluate your course (live or virtually, depending on your teaching format)
  • Develop a teaching portfolio, including:
    • Sample course materials
    • A statement of teaching philosophy
    • Evaluations

From The Elements of Writing by Katherine Gottschalk and Keith Hjortshoj, pp. 165-166