Five Ways to Prompt Midterm Reflection

We’re almost halfway through the term, which means students are taking midterms and in a prime space to make positive decisions for the second half of the term. Post-midterm reflection is a great opportunity for metacognitive practices where students can evaluate their approach to learning prior to the midterm and consider how they might plan, monitor, and evaluate their learning moving forward. The strategies below create space for students to reflect and engage in intentional decision-making around goals for the second half of the term.

  1. Grade Calculator & Course Analysis: Share this interactive handout with students in class and give them time to reflect not just on their current grade and goals, but on the specific study strategies that have worked well for them so far and potential ways to improve or refine those strategies.  
  2. Test Autopsy: Make time in class for a deeper dive post-midterm. Provide time for students to fill out this handout guiding them through identifying where points were lost and reasons for the lost points. Noting similarities in content, question types, or testing situations where points were lost can help students identify future study or testing needs.
  3. Midterm Question Deconstruction: Choose a few representative questions from the midterm to talk through. Share the rationale behind asking the specific question type, break the question down into its important elements, and name the type of thinking required to correctly answer the question. Give students a few minutes to reflect individually and in pairs on study strategies they could use to prepare for similar questions on the final.
  4. Midterm Debrief Office Hours: Invite students to office hours to talk about midterms. Having a focus for the week’s office hours can help students know what to expect and encourage them to visit. Offering a review of missed questions and space to talk through study strategies specific to your course could create a positive and supportive space for reflecting on the midterm experience.
  5. What-If Grades in Canvas: Use Canvas’s Student View to introduce students to this tool in the Grades area. Students can enter hypothetical grades and see what would happen to their overall grade if they earned those scores. This can give students a more concrete sense of what it would take to accomplish their goals for the course and potentially provide motivation as they navigate upcoming assignments and exams.
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