Drs. Kanost, Bender, and Faber at KSWLA 2020

Dr. Laura Kanost, Dr. Rebecca Bender, and Dr. Andie Faber represented K-State’s Department of Modern Languages this year at Kansas World Language Association (KSWLA) virtual conference in October. Their presentation, Thinking Outside The Exam: Alternative assessments across the L2 curriculum, explores creative alternatives to the traditional written exam, which allow students to demonstrate deep understanding and the ability to apply the knowledge they have gained in class in new and creative ways.

The ability to transfer knowledge to new situations in creative ways indicates deep understanding
(Wiggins & McTighe, 2005)

Kanost, Bender, and Faber discussed creative ways for students to demonstrate their learning, such as: participating in a think-aloud, paired translation exam; creating an infographic that explains best practices for interpreting in an educational setting; planning a party for a historical figure of medieval Spain and designing an invitation; constructing a narrative using snapchat stories integrating images, text, and filters; composing a meme to explain an aspect of linguistic variation in a clear, concise, and humorous manner; and leading a discussion where the student is in charge of teaching their peers something new and developing discussion questions to engage them in fun, analytical, and reflective discussions about the topic.

Not only do these alternative assignments demonstrate a deeper understanding of course concepts than most traditional written exams often do; students find them more memorable and the professors find them a joy to grade.

The presentation was well received and led to a lively Q&A session. 

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