One of my favorite pages that comes included in the new (delicious) binders I hand to students on the first day of school is the Advice from Past Students handout. Everything included on the page is actual advice from actual former students (contributed through course evaluations).
For the 2013 crew, I’ve changed the layout to make it more appealing for the new students to read, and I updated it so that almost all the advice is from this past school year. I loved this past year’s advice so much—they really got the goals and idea of the class, and they hit a lot of different areas (working with others during class, not giving up, the importance of practice, patience with mastering objectives, avoiding procrastination, getting help from the teacher).
The two paragraph-length responses on the second page are also hilarious and touching. They were both included in the same course evaluation, but written by two different students (the one at the bottom was written while being spoken out loud by a student who had hijacked his classmate’s computer for a few minutes; the one at the top of the second page was the actual response of the student writing the rest of the evaluation).
Click the pages to see larger, even more legible versions of the pages.
I posted about this topic last year, but just included the text instead of the document. Here’s last year’s version. A few classics stay on the page every year (find one of us for help, your teacher wants you to succeed, and a couple of others), but I also try to update it to keep it representing the current class as much as possible.
Do others solicit and pass on this type of advice in their classes? Are there other things you do to connect classes between the years? Other cool or different handouts you like to include near the start of the year for the new folks? Please leave a comment and share if you have any neat ideas or questions.