Dear Students,

The semester is in full swing and by now you've probably had a chance to demonstrate your knowledge through tests, papers, presentations, or class discussions. So how's it going? It's a question we don't often ask ourselves, yet it's critical to the process. I find I get swept up in the day-to-day goings-on of learning something and rarely take the time to step back and take a moment to reflect on my progress, and when I do I tend to approach the material differently, with a larger purpose in mind… that is until I get swept up in the day-to-day and have to remind myself to step back again, but you get the idea. It's a process.

Reflection and feedback are also critical for instructors so they can get a larger perspective on how the course is going. We all know Course Instructor Surveys (CIS) are important at the end of a class, but if your professor offers a mid-semester survey, I encourage you to take a few moments to fill it out. Your answers can provide important feedback to the instructor and let them know about gaps, things that are going well, and things that need to change, which is good for you, the instructor, and all your peers.

Learning is hard and fun, and is a process of which you are the leader.

Best,
Dr. Vanden Bout

Joke: What did the sarcastic otter say? I think you've confused me with someone who builds a dam.