Remove Times For Final Exams

Due to the pandemic, I wanted to remove the pressure of a traditional timed final exam and replaced it with a project that allowed students to creatively demonstrate what they learned over the course of the semester. I gave them some parameters (e.g. the project must include topics X, Y, and Z, must have a minimum equivalent page length of at least 3 double-spaced pages) as well as some examples of projects that they could consider (e.g. write a blog post for a specific audience; teach the concepts to high school students; create a board game; make a music video, etc). I explained that I really wanted them to find a way to merge Epidemiologic concepts with something that makes them happy. The students prepared some truly incredible projects that beautifully illustrated the concepts and truthfully learned far more than they would have if they had simply spent the time studying for a traditional final exam. At first, it was hard to imagine how I could possibly evaluate my students’ learning in a course that is rather technical, but this really helped me push the boundaries to see that the students could demonstrate what they learned without a pen and paper exam. I plan to keep this project as my end-of-semester evaluation in the future.

By: Lauren Christiansen-Lindquist