Bringing Your Course to an Effective Conclusion

Increasingly, state-supported institutions are being expected to have students complete not only their courses, but also the overall programs in which they are enrolled. There are three primary mileposts during a semester that largely influence our ability to retain students to complete their course, and maintain their momentum: the first class meeting, the first examination or major assignment, and the final class meeting.

As we approach the final class meeting of most courses this term, be sure that you:

  • Create a positive final visual impression for students to take from the course, through appropriate professional appearance and a neat classroom;
  • Prepare an agenda in advance that includes status of assignments, a forecast of the final exam structure and procedures, etc.;
  • Provide a comprehensive review and study aids for the final exam;
  • Relieve final test anxiety by greeting students as they enter the classroom, then encourage them toward success;
  • Identify the next logical course for students to take in their degree progression, as well as the course you will likely be teaching;
  • Conduct the student evaluation according to the protocol outlined in the packet provided you, and review the evaluations following the submission of your final grades, in your dean's office;
  • As students leave following your final exam, say a quiet, personalized "good-bye," and provide feedback on some contribution each student made during your course.

Your proactive management of each of the key mileposts impacting the retention students - including the final class meeting -- will make your teaching much more rewarding, and help you discover your true significance in the long-term success of your students.

Taken from The Adjunct Professor's Guide to Success: Surviving and Thriving in the College Classroom, by Richard Lyons, Marcella Kysilka, and George Pawlas.

Shop on line at or Barnes & Noble to get your copy of Dr. Lyons' book, The Adjunct Professor's Guide to Success: Surviving and Thriving in the College Classroom.

Workshops ~ Program Design ~ Mentoring ~ Online Resources ~ Tip of the Week ~ Dr. Lyons ~ E-mail ~ Home

Vetrol Data Systems, Inc.