Reflection Essay (12/16)

5% of your overall class grade

Turn in the essay to me as a direct message on Slack by 5pm on Friday, December 16. You can turn it in as a pdf, Word doc, or Google Doc link.

In at least 1000 words reflect on the experience of the class as a whole, and especially about the final project. What did you learn from the experience of creating a research project from scratch? The essay should be written as paragraphs in a narrative format, incorporating the questions below (meaning: it should not be a bulleted document going over each question).

This essay is meant to be relatively informal. I am interested in hearing what your experience of the class and of the project and encourage you to take this time to consider how it went for you and to share what you learned, including what you learned about yourself.

The reflection should address all of the following (these are the required questions). Make sure to illustrate claims with specific examples from the project (including from your own experiences with and reactions to this project):

  • What aspect of the final project did you find most intellectually interesting? Why? How might this choice reflect something about you or what you value?
  • Was this type of assignment new to you? How did you feel about needing to make your own choices about finding data and selecting tools?
  • Explain what advice you would give someone on at least ONE of the following topics, and explain your reasons using your experience with this project (and your prior knowledge as well, if you want): 
    • How to collaborate as an effective team; what to do and what to avoid
    • How to improve your research skills or how to make sure your research is very helpful to the project at hand
    • How to be creative/how to be willing to take creative risks
  • Share one moment or aspect of this class (at any point during, or throughout the semester) that you found memorable. Whether it was something that came up in discussion that stuck with you, an approach to learning that you liked (or disliked), or something that you think you will take away into the future.

In addition, optionally, the reflection may address any/all of the following if you find that these questions deepen or enhance your reflection:

  • What did you find most challenging about this project? How did you work to address these challenges? What knowledge would you offer someone about this particular kind of challenge?
  • What did you find most surprising in the course of completing this project? Why did you find it surprising – were your initial assumptions challenged in some way?
  • Analyze your own reaction to something that you found out or experienced in the course — something that excited you, something that you felt very negatively about, etc. How do you think your reaction reveals something about you? 
  • Did the class and/or final project change how you think about any particular topic or issue? Why?
  • Is there anything else about your experience with the class and/or project you want to talk about that you can use to shed light on some topic? 

Grading rubric

The essay:

  • Is thoughtful in considering the experience of the class and final project
  • Is specific with examples in answering the prompts
  • Presents coherent writing with minimal to no grammatical errors
  • Meets the minimum length requirement of 1000 words (going over 1000 words is absolutely fine, anything more than 2000 words is likely to lose coherence and effectiveness)
  • Answers the minimum required question prompts
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