Take time to pause at the end of the project to make sense of the good, the bad, and everything in-between.

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Topic: Reflection

Email 8 (of 9)

Take time to pause at the end of the project to make sense of the good, the bad, and everything in-between.

You did it! You’ve made it to the end of an online project (both the one you’re making and the one you’re taking). Whether or not you accomplished everything you hoped you would, you still made it to the end and that is a BIG accomplishment.  
After the exhibition, plan time for you and your students to look at the work you accomplished together and ask questions to foster thoughtful, deliberate practice. This email invites you to think about how you incorporate reflection as a meaningful part of an online project.

Activity #1: Create a reflection activity that your students can do together


Activity Notes:

The purpose of this activity is to have you create a plan for students to come together to reflect on the project. 

Ideas for online reflections:

  • Consider one-on-one video or phone chats. This is a great time to be synchronous with your students and get real with them about the project experience for them.
  • Create a massive Google Chat or create a shared Google Doc with questions that students can answer.
  • You can also include a short assignment like a reflective essay that asks students to name different aspects of their growth with evidence from the project, but make sure there is also some way students can make at least a portion of their reflections public to support the learning culture of your virtual classroom.
  • Help students frame their reflections with questions such as:
    What are you most proud of in your work?
    • In what ways is your project work similar to the exemplars and professional samples that we studied?
    • In what ways can you continue to grow so that your work becomes even more like the professional examples?
    • What is one moment in the course of the project—an assignment, experience, or critique—that really helped you do good work?
    • What would you most like to share about your experience in this project with others in the class?
This is the part of the emails where I start talking in the first person and tell you all the cool things I did in my project “Happy Science” that exemplify this email’s subject area.

I’ve always cherished the end-of-project reflection times because it always helped me genuinely understand what my students learned during the project. My team teacher and I always introduced this concept called “philosophical math” during project reflections with an equation that translates to, “A positive experience or a negative experience plus reflection equals personal growth.” Normally I would write some reflection questions on posters or on the whiteboard to display around the room, so I knew I wanted to create a space for public reflection for my students in a virtual format. I ended up creating a Virtual Carousel Reflection by simply using Google Docs with tables (you’ll see this linked in the resources below).

I also asked the students to go deeper with their reflections by having them complete a reflective essay on three aspects of their learning from the project, and to complete a post-project evaluation of the online project itself so that I could use their feedback to help me design my next online project. 


The resources for this section consist of samples that you can reference to help you complete the activities for this lesson. Additional resources can be found by going to the course landing page.


Sample Reflection Email
This is a sample project email with activities, assignments, and highlighted resources.


Sample Group Reflection Strategy
This is an example of how to structure a live-chat reflection inside of a shared document.

Next Steps

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