Semester reflections

Subject: Comparative Literature. Course: All. Study level: Bachelor's and Master's. Class size: two students from each course.

Motivation for the activity

There is a long tradition for semester reporting meetings at Comparative Literature and they are found in other forms in degree programme committees. But we maintain the form because it goes right down to the level of each course.

The objectives and central learning outcomes of the activity

  • To get students and lecturers to take a look at the process from both sides and in relation to the entire degree programme
  • That the students and lecturers together reflect on the evaluations and transfer the experiences from semester to semester.

Description of the activity

At Comparative Literature's semester reporting meetings, all lecturers and representatives of all courses meet and together review the previous semester’s teaching.

Representatives for the courses as elected at the final lesson.

The meetings will take approx. three hours and the only item on the agenda is the review of around fifteen semester reports. Here, both problems and "best practice" are addressed. The tone is courteous and constructive - also if there are problems with something or other.

In general the lecturers starts with a brief comment on his or her report, before the students voice their opinion and the discussion can then begin. This is repeated again, though with a summation of how the semester has been across the year group.

Outcome of the activity

The meetings are one of the cornerstones of the subject's evaluation culture and they give a high degree of joint ownership of the degree programme, where both student and lecturers are bound by something that is larger than the isolated course of study.

Reflection on the subject is also enhanced among the lecturers who have the opportunity to discuss what has worked well and poorly during the past course of study. At the same time the meetings are important as preparation for adjustments and changes to academic regulations, where you have received a detailed review of the degree programme's disciplines, and in particular for the students' perspective on the academic context.

Reflections on the activity

Different academic environments require different ways of passing on their experiences. But the creation of a discussion space that contains both students and lecturers across a degree programme with a strong focus on the individual courses, provides a solid basis for an exchange of experiences and the creation of mutual respect between all parties.

Mads Rosendahl Thomsen

Professor with Special Responsibilities
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