For those in the midst, or looking ahead at finals in my LA classes(9, 10-1, 20-1, 20-2, 30-1, 30-2).
Consider the outcomes we’ve tried to achieve.
Enhancing the artistry of communication has been a strong technical focus. Skills mastered include using online blogging tools, Word Processing, Spreadsheets, even graphical enhancements using Photoshop or audio/video podcasting tools have been included where time permitted and initiative taken. Participation on an online forum has generated a myriad of useful tips/reminders, questions/answers. There will be no speadsheets on the final, the use of Word will be necessary for English 30.
Each course has been structured around Focus Questions and related questions: English 10, English 9.
Emphasis on social networking, peer review/support/criticism has been critical for developing critical thought and reflection for writers defending an idea.
Each course has a reading list: English 10, English 30. Not every title has been studied intensively(or at all), but the proportion of attention paid to those pieces that were studied in class deserve the same level of attention on the final. Of course, those who choose additional literature from the list to focus on in the final deserve to have that initiative rewarded as well. If you choose to focus on Shakespeare, your audience gets tougher, I’ve noticed.
An English 30 paper looking at how the images/symbols/archetypes of Sophocles and Kingsolver relate to personal freedom to would be intriguing. Why not an English 10 paper discussing the threat of fanaticism by comparing the speeches of Mark Antony, Joseph Strorm, and Eamon De valera? What does Søren Kierkegaard have to do with every page you’ve ever read or written?
Extras, everyone should be able to link to Wikipedia for literary terms, difficult vocabulary, or just the odd or eccentric idea; can anyone incorporate the Hayflick Limit into their paper? Everyone has seen video and heard an mp3, but are any daring enough to Podcast their final essay? A carefully edited U2 mp3 snip, an embedded flash video of Ophelia Simpson, a slideshow?
The only limit is to abide the first line of every rubric you’ve ever attached to any assignment:
I _________________ honestly declare that the work is what I have done. In circumstances when I have quoted a certain authority, I have clearly indicated what is a quote and the author.
A Blogger’s Code of Ethics contains truths far older than the phenomenon of blogging.
English 30s will have no access to internet, filesharing, etc etc. English 10s can have it all.