Last quarter I proposed a new idea to my Advanced Health students. I offered them a new type of final assessment and organized a design-your-own framework project, as opposed to a traditional cumulative final test. It is called the"Flipped-final". The students could still take the test if they requested. I was nervous and excited for the outcome which had potential for both ground-breaking results or failure. I was nervous to see if students would slack this off, take the traditional final, or create something unique and memorable.
Every student chose the BYO final project option. Every student was able to create something that was meaningful to them. Every student met the requirements for an individualized assessment. Every student gave me something personal and relative to them and their education. Although this wasn’t a traditional method in standard education, I am confident that it achieved its goals. It was a fun twist for both myself and the students, and yielded some impressive results. The students reported that they enjoyed the freedom involved with designing their own genius hour style projects as a final. I enjoyed allowing them to take a concept which was valuable to them, instead of an arbitrary test of material they had already covered. It was a win-win no doubt!
The students created various types of projects. Speeches, papers, presentations, posters, surveys, and videos to name a few. The topics selected ranged from specific mental health issues like PTSD and Autism, to fitness based topics like personal training and nutrition. After each student presented the projects to their peers, we (fortunately and not by design) reviewed most of the unit materials anyways. Admittedly, it was juxtapose to see students brimming with intrinsic motivation over a final, rather than extrinsic. This is all I need to view this as a success. My students were excitedly working on a topic that they cared about, in the realm of health class, to present to peers.
Need proof? Here are some examples of the flipped-final that demonstrates these successes.
Obviously I am biased. I wanted this to be successful and celebrate the outcome, but did my students share the same feelings? What was their reaction to this style of final? Find out in my next post tomorrow!
I am a Health and Physical Education Teacher at Byron High School in Byron, Minnesota.