I choose to create a summative assessment (FLEX Project) for my senior level Psychology class that was modeled after an independent study as well as drawing on some of the ideas from the 20% project concept. Students had to choose a topic of interest that related to Psychology and submit a Project Proposal Form. They were then given roughly 20% of their time (4 class workdays and 4 out of class homework assignments) to research, explore, and then create a project demonstrating the mastery of their topic.
Students first completed this Flipped Assignment to begin thinking about the project as a whole and then were asked to begin their research by reading and submitting a Scholarly Article Review assignment. The third homework assignment was to complete an Annotated Bibliography with the resources they had used in the research and exploration phase of the project.
The final component will involve a FLEX Showcase where students will share their projects and findings in small groups on June 1 and 2 and have the opportunity to see what other students have been working on for their 20% project. Unfortunately, I won't have samples to post yet as they are still working on their projects.
Because Psychology is an elective course, there are no MN State Standards attached to the curriculum.
3. Authenticity and Rationale
- To enrich the curriculum and encourage students to pursue an autonomous, self-initiated intellectual inquiry of their choosing
- To give students the opportunity to develop good independent study habits, self-discipline, and college readiness skills
- To provide an opportunity to study an established subject to a level beyond the existing curriculum or to study an area or topic not presently included in our Psychology curriculum.
This is my first attempt at a summative project like this in Psychology and am excited about tweaking and changing the process to improve it in the future. I will ask students for feedback so I can take their experience into account as the basis for the project is student directed. I have liked the structure I included of having a few homework assignments to keep students on track as well as the Updates they were required to complete after an in-class workday. I think this held them more accountable and perhaps prevented a bit of the procrastination that can occur with these types of long term projects. I am excited to see the final products - there are a variety of proposals including research papers, presentations, scrapbooks, movies, and survey results and findings. One of the challenges with projects like this is the difficult with grading such a variety of student work. I will be adapting and using this rubric shared by the Science Leadership Academy to grade the student work as well as including in their final score a Process Grade that includes the various Updates and Homework assignments.