Introducing Reflective Written Assignments into a Statistics Course... Is that Even Possible?
- Joslin Goh, Associate Director, Statistical Consulting Centre, STAT 331 course instructor
- Mandy Gu, STAT 331 student
Joslin Goh described how she integrated reflective writing assignments into an upper level stats course to help students identify and articulate the professional skills they were developing as they completed their stats course assignments. Bonus marks were added to students who completed the reflective exercises. Despite the assumption that ‘stats students don’t write, or stats students don't 'do reflections', Joslin was pleasantly surprised at the number of students who chose to participate, and even more pleased with the improvement in the quality of the reflections as the students progressed through the term.
When we provide students the opportunity to reflect on their learning, specifically professional skills such as teamwork, leadership and communication that are implicit in the process of completing course assignments, we push students to think about their education in a way they traditionally have not been asked to do before. In doing so, we help them bridge the "articulation of skills" gap.
Joslin and Mandy Gu discussed the benefits and challenges associated with integrating written reflective assignments into a course that traditionally does not focus on reflective activities.
Introducing Reflective Written Assignments presentation slides
What Happens When Students Become Partners in Teaching and Learning?
- Steve Balaban, Adjunct Professor, Private Equity and Venture Capital
- Sam Luo, Tiffany Xie, and Bianca Vasu, students from Steve's AFM 204 course
Steve Balaban (School of Accounting and Finance) and his students described and demonstrated some of the various exciting, interactive exercises that Steve plans for his students to help them make sense of concepts related to finance and help them develop skills they'll need outside the classroom.
Planning weekly classroom activities that encourage students to take more responsibility for their learning can be time consuming for the instructor as it requires more advance planning. But the pay-off is worth it. Instructor and students alike are more engaged and come to class more prepared. In addition to learning the finance concepts, the students learn the value of getting to know their classmates. They benefit from the instructor's real-world experience, and they are able to practice professional, transferable skills that will serve them long after the course is over.
A YouTube video of Steve Balaban's presentation is available.