Final Exam…In the OR?

HeckleyFinalcollageCramming for finals. Memorizing hundreds of useless (now Google-able) facts that were promptly forgotten. Most all of us can recount at least one nightmarish exam saga in our high school or college past!

Assessment of learning is changing, though. It’s becoming more authentic, more reflective of the real world, and much, much more meaningful. Consider the final exam that Hamilton Southeastern High School science teacher Ashley Heckly designed for the seniors in her Biomedical Innovations class this week. In Mrs. Heckly’s own words…

fullsizeoutput_7b6Biomedical Innovations is designed for students to work through open-ended problems focused on health challenges of the 21st century. After having students work in groups throughout the year, an independent paper and pencil type of final did not feel right. Instead, I decided to transform the presentation lab into six operating rooms where students would work through the final as a group. The final was composed of six “surgeries” based on problems we studied throughout the year. The students recorded their answers to each problem on the paper body. To complete the experience, students dressed in their lab coats and received hospital ID badges, scrub hats, masks, booties, and gloves.

To get the full exam experience, don’t miss this one minute video recap!

A Day With No Bells

Student Choice Day 2Innovative. Creative. Fun! And a little bit risky. These are just a few of the terms that could describe March 3rd, the first (maybe annual?) Student Choice Day at Fishers High School.

Any teenager will tell you that in high school, their days are ruled by bells. On Student Choice Day, though, the bells were turned off. Teens lament that their days are full of “sameness”, the same classes, at the same times, day after day after day. Student Choice Day – well, it turned  routine upside down! Teaching and learning were as evident as ever on March 3rd. The process and content just got a make-over.

How did they do it? How did committed educators and some out-of-the-box thinking turn into what many students described as “the best school day EVER”? Listen in below, as FHS Assistant Principal Steve Loser (that’s a long ‘o’ sound) describes the evolution of FHS’ Student Choice Day. Then check out the mosaic of just some of the many course titles from which students could choose on March 3rd. Finally, enjoy a gallery of photos. What a day!

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