Final tests seem redundant in a TPBL classroom. Afterall, the students throughout the course of every assignment are in a constant state of assessment. Those assessments are either self-directed/ peer oriented or shared out to a larger audience. But, the tradition of final exams continues…. Yesterday I had a student concerned about my lack of concern about the test. I asked her what she thought told me more about her abilities–18 weeks of work or 90 minutes of testing? With that simple question and answer it became very clear for her. It’s important that our students understand that the work we do daily has more importance and relevance than a single test at the end. I knew how they were going to do on the test before they ever sat down to take it. But they were given yet another opportunity to synthesize the information they worked with throughout the year.
One problem did arise. I had a student comment that the assessment–reading graphs, non-fiction text, synthesizing information and writing conclusions, etc.–seemed an awful lot like biology and not a lot of English. Ah, changing a mindset takes a little longer. 🙂