Center for Teaching and Learning

April 2, 2020

39 – The Post-Course Reflection: An Alternative Assessment Methodology

Author

Tylir McKenzie, Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences, UW Seattle

Abstract

This poster presents a new form of student assessment, the Post-Course Reflection or PCR, that can be used across a number of different modalities (face-to-face, hybrid and online) and disciplines. This assignment is a comprehensive, end of term reflective assessment of student learning that was developed to address what I felt was the short falls found in many traditional assessment methods. Stemming from a feminist pedagogic perspective which (among other principles) values student experience, reflection and challenging traditional pedagogic norms, the post-course reflection assignment centralizes the student as active, responsible and collaborative agents not just the learning process, but the evaluation process of their learning.

Tested at three different institutions over the past eight years, and used in ten different courses across multiple disciplines and all teaching modalities, the post-course reflection assignment has become the cornerstone of my assessment methods in my courses. I share both my personal experiences with using the PCR in the classroom, as well as feedback and data I have collected from my students about the assignment. Through self-study methodology, this project shares challenges and successes throughout the years, as well as the multiple revisions and iterations the assignment has gone through in order to better serve instructors and students alike. In line with these methodological practices, the sharing of this project’s information is two-fold: one, to share the assignment and the knowledge gained from the research about it, and two, to engage others in critique and inquiry about the entirety of the project.

This project applies to instructors in both the natural and social sciences. It is of particular interest to those who wish to engage their students in collaborative assessment methods, as well as instructors who may be interested in using self-study as a research methodology.