The Fun Case for Alternative Assessment

“I had so much fun grading papers last night!”  Not a sentiment frequently heard, expressed, or even thought. Yet this legitimately describes my experience a few weeks ago after reading my students’ Beowulf quizzes. Over the last several semesters, I have shifted my idea of what evaluation should look like. We are so accustomed to one type of exam or paper (especially in literature fields), … Continue reading The Fun Case for Alternative Assessment

A Song of Medieval Boulder, vol.1

In this second Fall offering my Medieval Epic Through the Lens of Game of Thrones class, I wanted to shake up my assignments a bit, especially after researching into alternative assessment and inclusive teaching practices. In my class, this sometimes takes the form of options of assignments so that students can demonstrate their learning in a manner that resonates with them. In keeping with the spirit … Continue reading A Song of Medieval Boulder, vol.1

Playing Dante in 2015

Dante’s Inferno is a text that is as difficult to read as it is fascinating. However fun it is to teach, it can be frustrating for students to encounter the hundreds of characters whose names are devoid of meaning and context. Like Dante himself, students need a guide to take them through Hell. But how to teach them to guide themselves? In line with my Fren 1200 course … Continue reading Playing Dante in 2015

Student Poetry, vol.2

This is a followup to the post Cross-Cultural Student Poetry as it comes from the same assignment. Once again, in my Fren 2120 class of  Spring 2015, I have a few students who demonstrated mastery of French in only their fourth semester, composing thoughtful and moving poems. These two in particular took philosophical views of their lives and used them to recreate the original poem. Rather than … Continue reading Student Poetry, vol.2

Cross-Cultural Student Poetry

This post came from an assignment in my Fren 2120 class during fall semester 2013. Students practiced relative pronouns through poetry modeled on Jean Arceneau’s 1998 poem Je suis Cadien. This poem recounts the history of the Cajun people, from emigration to Acadia, through forced immigration to Louisiana, and to the challenges of assimilation into contemporary American culture. In composing a poem inspired by the Cajun … Continue reading Cross-Cultural Student Poetry