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Last Day Activities

Page history last edited by Angela Kelling 2 years ago Saved with comment

Main--> Last Day Activities

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  • Having a review day of course material (e.g., in "Jeopardy" format, have students bring in review questions).
  • Holding a debate among students about a controversial or long-standing issue in the course (e.g., "Mental illness is a myth," "Human behavior is mostly unconscious").
  • Having a poster session of student research or projects.
  • Have students design and run a cult. This includes information from developmental psychology, for example, on who might make good targets. It also includes a lot of information about persuasion techniques, cognition, communication, and perception. When finished, students typically design a university/college. Some students catch on when near the end. Also, if you have any veterans in your course, some catch the relationship of techniques to life in the military.
  • Do a Letterman-esque "Top 10" for your course. For example, "The Top 10 Lessons to Take from Social Psychology."
  • Have students think about things they would definitely change or not change about the course, share the ideas with a neighbor, then volunteer them to the class. In addition, some mentioned having students go through the syllabus in groups and suggest what worked and what could use for improvement.
  • Play Powerpoint Karaoke (see https://www.powerpointkaraoke.com/).  You would make a slide deck that automatically advances and the students have to give a course related presentation on slides they have never seen.   


SPECIAL EVENTS AND THE PROFESSOR’S PERSPECTIVE -Bring in a guest speaker on a contemporary topic.


  • Hosting an in-class party.
  • Having the professor present her/his own research.
  • Having the professor "campaign" for students to commit to a worthy, psychology-related cause.




"Final Thoughts": Have students write down three things they think they'll remember most about the class in the future (and they can be anything). And have students write down two things they know but didn't know before taking the class (i.e., something they learned). For example, from a learning course, have them consider if they look at behavior or learning any differently now that you’ve taken the course?  If so, how?  Then have the professor present her/his own "Final Thoughts," which can be a lighthearted reflection on lectures, activities, trips, etc.. After the professor has presented, have the students share some of what they wrote.




  • Have students write letters to the NEXT group of students who take the course. Include tips for doing well in the course (e.g., "do the readings on time," and "go see the professor's in her/his office; she's/he’s very helpful!") as well as things they should keep in mind during the course (e.g., List some things you've learned that apply to real-life). If there’s time, also ask some students to share what they have written. You can also include these comments (unedited or not) in subsequent syllabi or on Blackboard.
  • *Have students write letters to someone they select about something they've learned (e.g., to a family member, friend, high school teacher). Have the professor write a brief note to accompany these letters.
  • *Related to the idea above, as the professor, write a letter to your class and give it to students on the last day. Note core skills or perspective students might have learned, convey one's sense of privilege in working with the students, and try to pass on a few bits of advice. A potential addition to this is to include a reading list of great books (either psychology-related or not).
  • *Also related to these previous ideas are other parting gifts (e.g., poems, postcards with class-related pictures or messages, and particularly for distance-learning courses, individualized emails to students).



Note: The ideas above marked with an asterisk come from Ken Keith, whose ideas on course endings were included as a chapter in the STP e-book on student engagement, posted on the STP website.


(Original content compiled by Jordan Troisi from suggestions collected via the PsychTeacher listserv.)


A few other links:

From turnitin

Some ideas that could be adapted from National Council of Teachers of English

A good article from Association of Psychology Science



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