Suggested Final Exam
Date: Thursday, December 16, 2004*
Time: 7 a.m. - 9 a.m.
*Locations will be arranged with Sue Russell approximately at mid-term. She will contact instructors by email. This exam time is slated only for CO150 and will not coincide with any other university scheduled exams. We are not obligated to give a traditional exam for CO150, but the university requires that classes meet during the exam time. Your options for what to do when you meet are flexible: you can collect Part B of Portfolio 3 on this date or return all of Portfolio 3 if you have completed its grading, or you can create your own "exam" or facilitate a postscript for course, etc.
Please note that university rule prohibits graded events of value greater than 10% of the course grade conducted during the last week of classes. Therefore, this examination MUST be given during the final exam period.
The final examination asks students to write an extensive postscript to both the final arguing essay and the course. Remind students that they must submit (resubmit) their entire Portfolio 3 at the time of the final.
First, students will write a postscript to Portfolio 3. You can create your own postscript questions, but the goal here is to foreground the writing process and the choices students made in writing each part of Portfolio 3.
Second, students should answer a reflective question or two about the course theme of writing as a "situated" or context-bound activity. These questions should probe their understanding of the importance of purpose and audience to effective writing.
Third, students should be asked to reflect on an especially controversial national news issue they saw emerging over the past 15 weeks as they read the New York Times. This topic should be a different issue than the one they discussed in Portfolios 2 and 3. Ask them to discuss the ways that this national debate exposed differences in values, beliefs, affiliations, attitudes, and/or perspectives held by U. S. citizens.
You can also create your own final exam as long as it still reflects our course goals; if you have questions, ask Mike, Kate, Steve, Sarah, or any of the lecturers. Other finals that have been successful in the past include extensive reflections on the course and how it will help students in their future academic and civic lives (letters to incoming CO150 students are effective contexts for this), an analysis of and response to an argument found in the PHG or New York Times, or reflections on students' writing/research processes.
The goal of the final exam is not to "test" students on their writing knowledge (what they write), but instead to get them thinking once more about the choices they make when writing since we so often neglect to take time to reflect on how we write.
Congratulations on completing your first semester of CO150. Have a great break!