Habits of Mind: Designing Courses for Student Success
Julia M. Gossard & Chris Babits
Utah State University
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During an intake survey in my introductory-level history courses, my students select from a series of answers to respond to the question, “What do YOU believe are the goals of a college-level history class (select ALL that apply)?” The possible answers are “teach information about people, places, and events in the past,” “teach critical thinking skills,” “practice oral communication,” “practice written communication,” “memorize lists of dates and facts,” and “expose students to diverse points of view.” I have used this question as part of a pre-course assessment since fall 2021. The top three answers, which 70% (or more) of the students select as course goals, are “teach information about people, places, and events in the past,” “teach critical thinking skills,” and “expose students to diverse points of view.” Coincidentally, these are some of my goals in teaching the course as well, and I developed a low-stakes reflective writing assignment that has increased student confidence and provided students with the transferable skill of taking initiative in their own learning.
Frank, Nichelle, "Chapter 7- Learning Beyond Content: Using Weekly Reflection to Promote Student Confidence and Lifelong Learning" (2023). Habits of Mind. Paper 9.