Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Further Adventures of Students Designing Their Own Final Exam

So my Latin III students have begun the process of designing their own final exam.

They've decided to collaborate on writing an eBook about life as a Latin student in the year 2010.

I've given them a broad outline of what I'd "like" to see them accomplish in the exam -- demonstrate understanding of selected poems of Horace, Ovid, Catullus (poems mostly from the old AP syllabus with a few of my personal favorites thrown in); demonstrate mastery in morphology and vocab; and show the development of their skill in translating by comparing translations they did in Freshman year to translations they are producing now (easy to do because they've been keeping a blog of all of their translations since day one of Freshman year).

I'd also like them to show what they've learned about ancient cultures and show what they've learned about themselves over the course of three years studying a language that most folks figure is good for getting by on the SAT and not much else.

The students are working on developing a series of assessments; each one will correspond to one of the items I've suggested, but they will be approached individually from the point-of-view of each student's personal interest -- history, politics, creative writing, etc.

Combined, the assessments will take the format of the chapters of a book. We'll then publish on Blurb or Lulu or somewhere cool so that all students will have a complete eBook and if they choose to they can order a print copy (one student already wants to give one to her mom).

Imagine that: wanting to give a copy of your final exam to your mom as a present.

I think we're on the right track.

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