This year, I've designed non-exams for my Human Geo students that will assess their ability to apply what they've learned over the course of the year to real-world problems using full open access to the Net as well as collaboration with their peers during "exam time".
Here's the note I sent out to them today briefly explaining what they'd be doing while other kids are pouring over Scantrons and writing five-paragraph essays.
Let's not call it an 'exam'.
Instead, let's call it your final projects in Human Geography.
Basically what you'll be doing is choosing from among a menu of options of mini-projects related to each of the topics we covered in class. You will complete several mini-projects and you may choose the assignments that appeal to you the most. For each mini-project, you will write a short explanation of why the subject matter resonates with you.
Here's a list of the topics:
1. The Post-9-11 World2. Regionalism and Language3. Forced Migration: War, Famine, Natural Disasters4. The Changing Environment
5. Food and Us6. Regional Conflict and Cultural Effects: Israel & Palestine / Afghanistan / India & Pakistan / Tibet7. AIDS in Africa8. The Rwandan Genocide9. South Africa and the History of Apartheid10. The G-2011. US / Mexico Relations12. Immigration in Western Europe13. What is a Country?14. Religion and Geography
Some of these mini-projects will be individual and some will be collaborative with other students. Everything will be done online and you will have full-access to the Web.
To prepare, go back over each of the topics we covered this semester and re-read your blogposts. Get together with friends and talk about the topics and help one another think about them. If you don't have time during the day, Skype is a great option.