At the Edutopia parent partnership blog, Terry Heick has posted a list of nineteen questions parents should ask their children’s K-12 teachers. The list inspired me to think of ten questions that university students should ask themselves at the start of any new course:
- What do I want to get out of this course, and what do I need to do to achieve that?
- How will my academic strengths and weaknesses affect my ability to achieve my goal?
- What can I do to improve my understanding of the subject beyond the minimum that is required?
- How will I respond if I start to struggle in this course?
- How are the different ways that I will be evaluated in this course connected to what and how I can learn?
- What are the available resources for learning that I can use to my advantage? What must I do to use these resources?
- What are the barriers I often create that diminish my learning, and how can I change these behaviors?
- How can I shape my interactions with fellow students to increase my (and their) learning?
- What is the role of the instructor in my learning process?
- What am I not asking but should be?
It might be worthwhile to give students a list like this on the first day or two of class, and then give it to them again at the end of the course as a prompt for writing the quality of failure essay.