Reflections on Productive Discomfort and The Right Amount of Confusion, Frustration and Success
Keywords:Reflective Metacognition, Active Teaching Methods, Formative Self-Assessment, Student-Narrative Feedback
The primary goal of this research was to demonstrate how the instructor’s reflective metacognition can act as a powerful tool for real-time course modification as well as an effective means for reevaluating longitudinal data of students’ feedback for the course. Key to this approach was timely, frequent documentation based on a set of insightful prompts, which elicited deeper contemplation, rather than placing a superficial judgment whether we or the students believe the class session went well. By collecting additional qualitative data, such as midterm student perception surveys and final student evaluation of teaching (SETs), particularly the student narrative feedback, we were able to triangulate the data, creating areas of agreement and outlier data. Ultimately, we found that by using several data collection instruments for reflection of teaching and being serious about entering the data on a regular basis, we were able to collect and make sense of the methods that worked well in the course and be better prepared to redesign our course for the next term. Longitudinal data of students' perceptions three months following the course indicated they still (1) are using course specific terminology; (2) are sharing the major course themes with others; and (3) can articulate central ideas.
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