"I found it very useful to ask for students to write on first day or class:
1."what I hope to learn and take from this course."
2. Likewise ask them their short term goal for taking this class and long term goal.
3.Lastly I ask them in the student profile on a scale 1-10 what is there experience with the subject matter to date.
Theses three questions have increased student focus and appreciation for course greatly for me as the teacher as well as te students seeing whats really important to them and focus on the gain and usefulness of course for the student." Bryon Parffrey