What is the Mid-Semester CheckUp?

In the Capstone Course, we believe in the power of feedback, both from your peers and from your instructors. Reynolds (2009) argued that students’ peers are capable of pointing out things that would have never occurred to their instructors, and we’ve repeatedly found that to be true as we’ve taught this class! However, we also know that the opposite is true: While we do our best to make our expectations and grading process clear to everyone during peer feedback, we also know that sometimes there’s no substitute for having the instructor look over your work.

We have been regularly providing weekly feedback to you in your Feedback Notebook. But, as we approach the mid-semester mark, it’s an opportunity to step back and look at how the cycle of design-feedback-revision is working for you.

We call this process of stepping back and looking at your progress the Mid-Semester Checkup. This mostly will happen behind the scenes as we review your work, and your progress towards making revisions on any issues raised in that feedback. Specifically, we are going to look at the following:

  • Your history of submitting work (mostly) on time
  • Your pattern of following up on revisions we have suggested
  • Your responsiveness to others in participating in peer feedback

Everyone will receive an email about their mid-semester checkup on (or around) the start of Module 8. There are three possible outcomes for this checkup email.

  • You’re doing great – If you’ve been keeping up with the work and you’ve been keeping up with revisions, we consider you to be doing great. Keep on doing what you have been doing.
  • You’re struggling a bit – You may be doing a lot of good work but there are some issues that remain un-resolved. For example, you may be turning in initial work on time, but not responding to revisions. If this is the case, the email from use will discuss ways to improve any areas of weaknesses.
  • You’re significantly struggling – If your work is frequently late, or you have not been participating in feedback, or have not yet made any revisions, we will be in touch with you. Mid-Semester is an opportunity to get back on track, and we will assess (with you) what needs to be done to get back on track in order to complete the course.

Again, we will communicate the results of the mid-semester checkup to you via email. This email will likely come early in Module 8. Please make sure you read this email and respond (if a response is requested).


Reynolds, A. (2009). Why every student needs critical friends. Educational Leadership, 67(3), 54-57.