Student wearing mask at computer | Photo by Diana Jaber | The Wright State Guardian
Students and professors are winding down for the spring semester of 2021. Finals season has changed because of the coronavirus, but professors are finding new ways to bring it new life.
Projects instead of exams
English professor David Seitz does not give his students end of the semester exams. Instead, Seitz has the students work on projects that he can help with one on one.
“I’ve never had finals exams because my courses are project-driven. I always see the last few weeks as something more focused on working individually with students as needed. Final projects are either a combination of conferencing and also activities to help students as needed,” Seitz said.
When it comes to conferences, there are always issues with reaching students in the online format.
“When we were in an in-person classroom, I’d just walk up to that person and tell them that they needed to sign up for a conference. There was a lot more opportunity to keep in touch with the student,” Seitz said.
ASL professor Jodi Pierstorff also does not have final exams in a traditional sense.
“Honestly, I would prefer not to have finals. They are stressful not only for students but for instructors having to get them graded and have grades turned in on time. Since going to an online format, I have done away with the final receptive tests. I have, however, added more receptive quizzes and expressive assignments,” Pierstorff said.
According to Pierstorff, she believes, although online teaching has worked, teaching ASL is meant to be done in person. Pierstorff has a few new tricks which she can incorporate into an in-person class setting and misses the interaction between the students and herself.
Both Pierstorff and Seitz plan to incorporate more team activities in their next courses.
Final papers and final projects
WSU student Natalie Cunningham did not have any final exams this semester, only final papers or projects.
“Since I’m an English major, I don’t mind writing papers for finals and I think it’s pretty beneficial. The due dates for some of my papers or projects were a little earlier into finals week than I would have liked, but overall, no complaints,” Cunningham said.
According to Cunningham, she had good professors and classes that made this semester worthwhile.