This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader Dr. Raelynne M. Hale.
Ending the Semester - The Importance of a Goodbye
Another thing I noticed about a lot of online courses was that many courses just seemed to end, without any sort of closing message. Many final messages to students were reminders about final exams and projects, which are very important messages, but I wanted to make sure students also reflected on the semester and everything they had learned and to have an opportunity to say goodbye to their online classmates.
At the end of every online course, I give students an opportunity to share their favorite moment from the course, say goodbye to their classmates, and to leave me honest and constructive feedback about the course.
The primary goal is to create some sort of closure and to bring back the human during a stressful time of the semester. It is also a good way to celebrate all that they have accomplished.
An example of an end-of-term VoiceThread is available at the following link: Saying Goodbye Example VoiceThread
VoiceThread has been an amazing tool in ways that I could not have anticipated. I have been so happy with the results and the rich discussions that my students have had in our online courses together. And, as always, don’t just take my word for it, read some of the student feedback that I received from my online courses below!
A Few Quotes from Student Surveys (2021)
“I would like to express my gratitude and appreciation towards our professor for this course. Profe Hale has shown amazing leadership, communication, and supportive skills throughout the semester. Profe Hale’s ways of teaching stands out amidst a virtual classroom because she created a friendly and productive environment for me. Most importantly, she assigned engaging participation through VoiceThread lectures, which made my learning more interactive and fun. […] Profe Hale made using Canvas and VoiceThread very easy and simple to understand through her tutorial videos. Thank you, Profe Hale for a great semester!"**
“Professor Hale created a super interactive class and each assignment gave the students the opportunity to learn, analyze, share ideas and research about different topics. […] I have never taken a class like this one before and I appreciate the successful efforts of the professor for creating a very opening and warm environment through an online class. I felt very connected to my classmates! Thank you so much Profe Hale!"**
“For me, this class was well organized which made learning the material easier. […] Aside from the usual stress that comes with a class in general, the way Profe Hale effectively set up the online class made this one of the least stressful classes overall. That was very much refreshing since online and zoom classes seem to burn me out faster than in-person class."**
“Going into this class I didn’t know what to expect or how the stress levels were going to be for this class because of remote learning. But Professor Hale made the class easy to navigate, she was very organized and clear on what had to be done. Profe Hale made the class enjoyable, she gave her students a chance to interact with each other which was nice to have. She would respond to her emails almost instantly and most importantly treated her students like actual humans that go through things and not some kind of student robot. So for that I really appreciate this professor.”
(**Note: Quotes have been reduced for length and space and edited only for orthographic errors.)
About the Author:
Dr. Raelynne M. Hale is a Teaching Assistant Professor at Kansas State University. You can connect with her on social media at:
Facebook: Raelynne Hale