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Alternative Final Assessment Ideas

Alternative Final Assessment Ideas

The purpose of this document is to create a list of alternative final assessments that instructors may not have considered using in the past that are:

  1. Remote delivery-friendly.
  2. Responsive to the unique challenges students face this semester and do not create unnecessary, additional burdens for faculty or students.
  3. Accessible, equitable, and flexible.

The goal is to help instructors think creatively about how students might demonstrate mastery of student learning objectives. Feel free to include creative exam ideas (e.g. group exams; crowd- sourcing exam questions from students).

  • A video reflection (with a text or audio reflection option for students who don’t have the technology necessary to create videos).
  • A curated, annotated portfolio made up of artifacts students select that they believe best demonstrate their learning in the course with a short paragraph of meta-learning annotation for each artifact. Instead of creating a new project, students focus on synthesizing and reflecting on work/learning they have already done.
  • Electronic research posters using a free PowerPoint template.
  • A project that incorporates the elements of what they learned over the semester.
  • An experiment done at home to test some idea learned/explored. If students can’t perform an experience (different environments/access to resources), ask  students how they would design an at-home experiment to test an idea or concept. Similarly, students could design a lesson for teaching a concept.
  • A poem or fictional story written about a historical character they learned or read about in class.
  • Ask a student to explain the steps that lead to something they learned about using critical Students could also respond to a case study using this method.
  • Write a fictional story in a foreign language. With a peer, one can write a short skit on an assigned topic in a foreign language.
  • Give students a set of performance criteria, but allow them to choose what type of artifact they would like to create to demonstrate performance criteria. For instance, the project must involve inquiry-based research, but maybe some students end up with posters, others essays, others videos.
  • A narrative on learning during a pandemic. While creative, an instructor could also require that students touch on or demonstrate (if a writing course) key ideas or skills from the They could do this in the form of a blog as well.
  • A resource-recommendation project asking students to locate, summarize, and analyze resources, explaining how and why they could be integrated into the course in the future.
  • Create a concept map, documenting the knowledge and process learned about the The map should connect at least seven (7) items to the concept. Include also at least three (3) references used for resource.
  • “Ask students to connect course content to their own life experiences and use pedagogical techniques like “Impress me!” This activity, designed by Lauren Herckis, Pitt grad and faculty at Carnegie Mellon’s Simon Initiative, involves granting students extra credit for generating artistic representations of real-world application of concepts they have learned in class.”
  • Graphic narrative
  • Concept map
  • Annotated Bibliography
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