Overall, my DukeEngage summer has been very smooth. I have been largely able to stick to my original work plan, which is great! That said, there have been parts of the experience that haven’t gone as I initially expected. For instance, fewer students complete the assignment than I anticipated.
While the assignment is largely designed for the benefit of the student’s learning, they are a useful way for me to make improvements to my course. For instance, the assignments might indicate topics I need to review in future lessons and what specific teaching methods have proven to be most effective. Also, a higher rate of assignment completion confirms to me that my students are actively engaging with the course.
However, in the spirit of being resilient, I am not using this as an excuse to not continuously work towards improving my course. I must trust that students are still engaging with the content. Also, because I lack the full feedback that completed assignments provide for me, I make sure to actively reflect on my lessons and consider where and how I could have done a better job of explaining. These responses have helped my personal growth during the last few weeks, and I am grateful for that.
Of course, there are always more opportunities for personal growth. As a student myself, perhaps I could have anticipated this lower rate of assignment completion and tailored the course more closely to that from the beginning. It is important not to have unrealistic expectations of host community members, in this case my students, particularly during these unpredictable times!