Little slips of paper

I wrote earlier about my plan for the final presentations. I handed small pieces of scratch paper out to my students, and I tasked them with writing down the things the presenter did well, and any questions they had. I was already pleased with the results.

How could I not be pleased when they had questions to ask at the end of presentations? They had plenty of nice things to say to the presenters. It was easy to get the conversation started.

This is what one student wrote in his a final portfolio letter to me about what he learned in the class:

My favorite moment from the semester came after my Final Project presentation. … After my presentation, I was really down on myself. I got very nervous while presenting, missed points that I wanted to make, failed to answer questions that I knew the answer to, and on top of this I had gotten very little sleep the night before. When I got back to my seat, the little slips of paper were sitting there. Reading them absolutely turned my day around. While I cannot pinpoint an exact lesson I learned here, I can tell you that I really appreciate all of the effort you took to make this class a positive and enjoyable environment for everyone. I learned that a professor that really cares about creating a welcoming environment can make all the difference.

Am I ever glad I ran that experiment.