So, I have been a rather vocal proponent of trying to make the traditional paper/pencil exam at my school into an assessment that is more authentic. While my school is unwilling to stray from the two hour traditional format, one of my colleagues asked me what my ideal exam would look like. My answer is not one hundred percent formed, and it would need to be scaled to fit each class level, but here are the elements that I would like to see included in my (more) ideal final exam.
- Students would create a planned speaking presentation that incorporated two of the themes that we had studied (I would create some prompts to help them get started, and most of my classes have studied between 6-10 themes)
-Students would write a paragraph on one of the themes that we have studied (Again, I would design relevant prompts)
- Students would read two different articles on two different themes and respond to the questions.
- Students would dialogue with another student about a predetermined topic, but without a script or notes.
- Students would spontaneously speak (in the computer lab) without a script or notes on a theme that was not told to them ahead of time.
- Students would listen to an audio text or view a video clip and write or speak a response.
- Students would write, listen, or speak about an element of culture that we had covered throughout the year.
While I have purposefully left my ideal exam a bit vague, I acknowledge that there would be some challenges to creating and using this sort of an exam.: Time (all of my students take their traditional paper/pencil exam on the same day at the same time), Perceived subjectivity by parents and students, Rubric (would need to be highly specific about length, grammar requirements, etc.)
Here to me are the advantages: student can show their ability to use the language, students have some choice in what their exam looks like, this exam would ideally be more reflective of the way the students are being taught.
Is a final exam required at your school? What is your ideal exam?