Tuesday, May 03, 2011
Authentic Assessment: Let's Publish an eBook
My Latin III students and I sat around this afternoon chatting about what to do with the last month of their high school Latin career. They decided they wanted to write and publish a book about their favorite Roman poet -- Catullus.
And they don't want to fake it.
By the end of a 45 minute session, they had chosen two editors-in-chief, worked out assignments ranging from writing and translating to public domain picture vetting. Two students took the lead figuring out how to publish an eBook that would be available on Amazon; by the end of class, they had figured out how to get an ISBN number and were talking about how to distribute any money from sales to charity.
They set up a Google Group for organizing, and a Tumblr and Twitter account to promote their work and to connect with folks interested in what they are doing. As I understand it, they want to set up a video streaming channel to talk to other Latin students; and they are looking at different ways of putting a book together.
Finally, they are going through all of the translation and critical analysis they've done all year and they are editing it all into something that can stand on its own.
This is authentic assessment. It's assessment directly integrated into the process of "the making of the learning". It's assessment that will likely live on in Amazon comment boards and archived chats long after I've done the work of giving grades. And it makes something as potentially arcane as ancient poetry into something with which the students can work and make new things.
They'd love it if you followed their progress at @CatullusDivided and soon on the YouTube channel where they will be documenting their experience.