I gave a take home final with the question: what did you learn in this class? It wasn't supposed to be a list of everything they learned, but a self-reflective essay. As with any class, the results were mixed, but I had some very revealing answers that taught me a lot, more than any set of evaluations could, and so overall this was a brilliant idea of mine, though it would have been a very stupid idea had it not worked.
One wrote about how performative aspects that we dealt with in class gave her a new perspective on literature. I had them devise and perform scenes from a short story we had read, using their own words rather than the words of the text. We also compared different performances of Bernarda Alba and heard poets read their own work, along with songs based on various poems, etc... She put together these three experiences and told me what she learned from that. Of course, others interpreted and executed the assignment in less interesting, laundry-list way. I know they learned something, like the definition of the word diphthong. Most were honest, that they expected a high-school English kind of thing but that the intellectual level was much higher. I would hope so.
Post a Comment