Excellence in the Classroom III: Going Out Like a Lion

Dear UNT Faculty Member,

As many of you are aware, this year Academic Affairs is emphasizing a theme of “Excellence in the Classroom.” In August I wrote of the importance of getting a good start in the classroom, while in mid-September I indicated the importance of providing timely feedback to your students. I’m hopeful that you have been focusing on your own version of “excellence in the classroom”, and I am sure that our students appreciate it, as do I.

Now, we find ourselves with the end of the semester looming, and everyone planning their last series of lectures. Rather than viewing the last lecture or two as a “catch-up” time or time to ease off on the accelerator, I really encourage you to make your last encounters with your students an especially well-thought out culmination of the whole course. Try to make that last lecture a “TED talk” that leaves the student saying “Now I see how this course and what I have learned fits into the bigger picture!”

I’m not coming up with anything novel here. Many others have written eloquently on the importance of the last few lectures.  For example, please consider these thought-provoking resources identified by our CLEAR staff…

and

Focus groups, feedback from recruiters, and the views of many students themselves all indicate that we must present an ever more challenging experience to our students. Keeping a high degree of rigor – including a true capstone experience in the form of the last lecture – right through the marking of the final exam or paper is a key part of this. I look forward to hear what YOU have done to make the end of the course both memorable and challenging to your students.    

I hope the rest of the semester goes well for you!

Best,

Warren