Day X: The Reflection
Well, class is over, and as part of my project, I wanted to write up a little something that explained how "successful" I thought the blog was.
First, I do think it was a success. When I wasn't writing about wanting to microwave my dog, it was fun and interesting to document what went on in class. For professors I know it can be hard to keep track of exactly what went on and what students thought about the class periods individually, so this blog offered some kind of permanence as to what happened (through my eyes, of course).
So let's look at a few things that happened as a result of the blog...
It made me pay attention in class. Way, way too much attention, perhaps, but this is probably a good thing. After all, I paid far too much money. What better reward for paying far too much money than having to pay far too much attention?
It also encouraged me to be in class. Now, I admit this probably a moot point since I'm a big fan of 100%-attendance (after all, I pay far too much money, remember?) But still... it's one more reason, right?
If I have one big regret, and it is a big one, it's that not enough people responded to the blog. I think I should have pushed a bit more to encourage students to reply. I sort-of blame students in some ways for not responding because the blog link was in the Announcements page of WebVista, though I fully admit the Announcements page is a disaster (Thanks, U!) I appreciate that Dr. Stern read the blog and responded to various postings (the whole point of the assignment!), but it would have been really great if students had partaken as much. I had just one student replying to a post, and it was a really interesting response, too. I can only wonder what other replies might have contained... If I am to be honest, it wasn't really for other students' benefits anyway, but it'd still have been nice...
I firmly believe this blog is much more useful than the silly feedback sheet which are given out at the end of classes. Those forms are so dead and devoid of any meaning. I'm not suggesting that all students blog each class period as a means of teacher feedback, but can anything really particularly useful be obtained from those sheets? I understand if you have 70 students complaining about a professor fondling their bottoms while they enter the classroom, then this feedback sheet can find such trends and help fix problems, but as far as structure and specific topics go, I don't see students taking the time on this sheet to say that one particular specific class was more interesting than the other classes in a given week.
So there you have it: The key to this blog being a success is that it became a journal to document how each individual class progressed, how each held (my) attention, and the affect the class had on me. Hopefully Dr. Stern can use some of the information from this blog to shape her future class! I wish her the best of success in doing so.