Teachers assign final projects in lieu of final exams

For the final project, Nell-Ayn Lynch’s students made an Instagram account called lgbtqequalitypride where they posted pictures regarding the LQBTQ+ community and its significance. This final project is an easier yet more creative version of a final exam that still provides critical information for the teachers.

Photo by Sydney Chinitz '23

For the final project, Nell-Ayn Lynch’s students made an Instagram account called lgbtqequalitypride where they posted pictures regarding the LQBTQ+ community and its significance. This final project is an easier yet more creative version of a final exam that still provides critical information for the teachers.

Sydney Chinitz '23, Staff Writer

The 2020-21 school year has affected the physical attendance of students, and thus their learning experience. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the school administration decided to discontinue the midterm and final exam schedule built into the calendar for the school year according to the Staples 2020-21 handbook; however, some teachers have been working their way around this. 

For some teachers, final exams have been altered into end-of-the-year projects because teachers want to instill the information final exams had previously provided. 

Final projects are a way for teachers to incorporate the information that has been taught throughout the year. This highlights students’ progressive learning skills and tests their cumulative knowledge. It accomplishes the same end goal as a final exam without having a legitimate test.

“For my U.S History Honors class I am planning on giving a final project that is about advocacy, and combining all of our units [into one],” Nell-Ayn Lynch, a U.S history teacher, said. 

Lynch has always given a final project for her classes, and discontinuing the normal final exam schedule will not prevent her from assigning this project. Even though it technically is a final, the project won’t have as much of a drastic impact on the student’s grade as final exams had.

Lynch acknowledges the fact that final exams are exempt from this year’s schedule, but believes that the final project is still necessary. It displays to the teacher what concepts students have grasped or not, how much students can apply what they have learned in class to the real world and what teachers might need to focus on more in future years.

[I want to use this final project to] summatively assess students’ learning and mastery of skills that we’ve focused on during the semester or year. ”

— Mary-Katherine Hocking

Teachers don’t want to make students’ lives harder, they just want to make sure their students have absorbed all the important information that was taught throughout the course.  

“Final [projects] help to assess students’ knowledge and check how well they retained information during the course of the year,” University Herald said.

In addition to Lynch, Mary-Katherine Hocking, an English teacher, is planning on giving a final project to assess her students on what they’ve learned throughout the year.

“[I want to use this final project to] summatively assess students’ learning and mastery of skills that we’ve focused on during the semester or year,” Hocking said.