It has been surveyed that public speaking and death are among our top five greatest fears in life. In this course, you will be facing both!
Students may have a greater willingness to discuss issues of death and loss through written assignments; however, there is little guidance for instructors regarding how to manage these sensitive assignments, nor how students benefit from them. The authors implemented and evaluated a "lossography" assignment in an undergraduate thanatology course in which students wrote about their losses and anonymously shared these narratives with their classmates. Although many themes of loss emerged, the most frequently reported significant loss was death of a grandparent. Additionally, most significant losses occurred in childhood/adolescence. Prominent themes related to student learning included gaining self-awareness, knowledge about grief responses, and compassion for others. Students (N = 64) also completed a survey reflecting on their course learning. Of all aspects of course delivery, 44% identified the lossography as the most beneficial, whereas 97% recommended this assignment for future students.