FWS Instructor Reflection

The KNIGHTLYnews is an online forum where FWS instructors and other teachers of writing can swap and share ideas for best classroom practice. Weekly posts are designed to help teachers develop lesson plans and writing assignments, and respond to classroom challenges by introducing new teaching tools and sharing emerging pedagogical ideas. Posts also direct readers to program and campus resources that support teaching and learning, and provide opportunities for peer collaboration and mentorship.

A program remains strong only as long as its instructors are actively engaged in reflecting on and improving their teaching. To encourage the process of reflection, we encourage instructors to begin drafting this “FWS Instructor’s Reflection” while their students complete in-class course evaluations and to submit when complete to the Knight Institute and, if you are a graduate instructor, your FWS Course Leader. You may of course want to include your responses in your own teaching journal to draw on for future reflection or for presentation of your teaching development to others.

Please submit reflections to the questions below directly to Donna Newton electronically via email to dlo1@cornell.edu.

This information will be kept confidential within the Knight Institute. We are asking that you submit these responses both so we can continue to be responsive to the needs of students and instructors and so we have necessary evidence when we are subject to external review that instructors set and reflect on learning goals. 


Your name: _________________________

Seminar dept, number, & section: _______________________

Seminar title:  ___________________________________________________


  1. You undoubtedly had goals for your students’ learning. What goals do you think most of your students achieved, because of your course and your teaching? Be as specific as you can—feel free to congratulate yourself for successful teaching methods.
  2. Most of us find that our students don’t achieve all the goals we hoped they would. Give one example of a goal you believe many students did not achieve and explain how you know they didn’t achieve it. With this in mind, what might you change the next time you teach this course or one like it?
  3. Please give an example of a change you made during the semester in order to improve students’ learning. What evidence made you decide to make the change?
  4. How have some of the following sources of assistance helped you to define, refine, and execute your goals (e.g., Writing 7100; the Peer Collaboration Program; the Faculty Seminar in Writing Instruction; the Essay Response Consultation Program; Instruction Librarians; the Johnson Museum; course leaders; the Archive of Teaching Materials; The Indispensable Reference for Teachers of First-Year Writing Seminars;The Elements of Teaching Writing; Cornell Center for Teaching Innovation)? Please be specific; and of course feel free to make suggestions.

More news

View all news