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The Student News Site of Mission Hills High School

The Silvertip

The Student News Site of Mission Hills High School

The Silvertip

Are There Any Better Alternatives to Finals?

Dane+Hanlon%2C+freshman%2C+studies+for+Biology+final+using+AVID+note-taking+strategies.
Photo by Dane Hanlon
Dane Hanlon, freshman, studies for Biology final using AVID note-taking strategies.

A three page essay, an 80-question test, a multiple choice assessment. These are just a few examples of the seemingly bland finals many of the students of Mission Hills High School have to complete. Many want something more creative and applicable to life, like a project or debate.
“I think a great alternative to a final would be a project of some sort. A group project would be even better,” said freshman and honors student James Melena.
Melena has been taking all honors classes since seventh grade, and he understands the tedium that finals and drawn-out tests can bring.
A collaborative project is a very good alternative to a final because it encourages teamwork and communication. Collaborative projects can teach students real and important skills that they can use in future careers and in college, skills that most common, basic assessments can’t teach. Additionally, because it is also a project, it requires creativity and out-of-the-box thinking from all members of the group.
Kamran Alidaee, a freshman who is also taking all honors classes, proposed another idea.
“A poster or something that is different from other assignments we’re used to taking would be better than a final. It should be graded as every other assignment, except it’s a completely different format that students would not be used to,” Alidaee said.
Alidaee is passionate about Biology and wants to see assignments that better utilize his knowledge of the subject and make him think in different ways.
A study from 2022 by KAPPAN showed that “embedding project-based learning in Advanced Placement courses increased the probability of students earning a passing score on AP tests by about 8 percentage points in the first year and 10 percentage points after teachers had two years of experience with the project-based curriculum.” This study proves the effectiveness of creative, project-based learning in students’ overall education.
Given all of the evidence that has been provided to support project-based learning, one final question is left: why not make the change?

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About the Contributor
Dane Hanlon
Dane Hanlon, Staff Writer
(He/Him) Dane Hanlon is a freshman at Mission Hills. He enjoys mountain biking, weight lifting, and hanging out with friends. He wants to get straight A’s this year.

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