4: Quality Education
A Celebration of What You Know
Charlene Estrada and Emily Bogusch
You are a part of a global effort to increase access to education and empower students through “open pedagogy.” Open pedagogy is a “free access” educational practice that places you – the student – at the center of your own learning process in a more engaging, collaborative learning environment. The ultimate purpose of this effort is to achieve greater social justice in our community in which the work can be freely shared with the broader community. This is a renewable assignment that is designed to enable you to become an agent of change in your community through the framework of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For this work, you will integrate the disciplines of Geology; Physics to achieve SDG #04: Quality Education
- Design a final assignment in a format of your choice to communicate your understanding of core scientific concepts.
- Evaluate your knowledge of course topics according to the criteria of the final assignment that you have designed.
- Appraise and critically examine how your classmates have synthesized the same information into different projects.
Congratulations, you’re almost halfway through the semester! At this point in the semester, midterms may be looming in some courses, but something you should start to think about in this class is your course final. Course finals sometimes look like long, formatted tests that require hours of studying the materials you have acquired over the past semester. While this is one way to demonstrate knowledge, not all students are comfortable with a traditional final exam, and it is completely normal to experience testing anxiety that can impact an otherwise excellent grade. In this course, we will treat our final assignment more like a “celebration of what you know”.
You will choose how you will demonstrate your knowledge for this course by designing and completing your own final assignment. In the last few days of the semester, your work will be showcased to your peers.
Part 1. The Contract (10 pts, Due Date: At Mid-Term Check-in)
Determine what type of project you will be comfortable completing as a final assignment. A good final assignment requires you to critically think about the key aspects of the course and/or how certain modules and scientific concepts might be connected. Keep in mind while designing your assignment that you will be required to explore 5 concepts of your choice that the course covered (or will cover) this semester. Please view the bottom of this assignment for a comprehensive list of these topics.
Some examples of final assignments might include (but are not limited to!):
● A student-written final exam with an answer key
● A countdown video on interesting facts learned in the course
● Reflective videos explaining key course concepts previously not well-understood
● A website or blog on key concepts
Don’t be afraid to be creative and bring your own talents into your project! If you are artistic, bring your art into the assignment. If you are more technologically-inclined, then perhaps you might prefer putting together a video or website. Be sure to select a final assignment that will challenge you, but at the same time, is something you know you can successfully complete!
Complete the Course Final Contract assignment (available as a Canvas Quiz) by outlining your vision for the course final. You do not need to select the 5 topics you will be covering at this stage!
After you submit your Contract, your Instructor will do one of the following: 1) sign off on your idea by giving you full credit or 2) send you feedback for revision. If your idea requires revision, you will be expected to revise your ideas within 3 days of receiving feedback until they are approved for full credit.
Part 2. What You Know (150 pts)
Although the final assignment must be submitted in the last week of the course, you have the freedom to work on it throughout the entirety of the second half of the term. Your final assignment must achieve the following:
1. Reflect your ideas in the Course Final Contract
2. Critically explore 5 topics covered in the course
3. Reflect your ability to communicate scientific concepts clearly and effectively
At the bottom of the assignment, along with the list of approved course topics, you will find a rubric of how your instructor will be evaluating your work.
Part 3. A Celebration! (40 pts)
After you and your classmates submit your final assignments online, your peers will have the opportunity to view your hard work. No assignment will be the same, and as such, you will be asked to take a look at what your classmates have achieved in a virtual showcase!
Choose AT LEAST 4 assignments that stand out to you. Leave some positive comments on your classmates’ assignments on Canvas. Tell them what you liked, how their assignment was unique, or something you found interesting. Be detailed!
Example Assignment Evaluation
Approved Topic List for GLG101IN:
● Plate Tectonics/Earth’s Interior
● Igneous Rocks
● Sedimentary Rocks
● Metamorphic Rocks
● Geologic Time
● Earthquakes & Tsunamis
● Rivers & Flooding
● Mass Wasting
● Oceans & Coastlines
The assignment has a rubric for part 2 and part 3 but it is not included here.