How many points is this worth?
I’ll think about it. It shouldn’t be all about the points, it should be about what you gain from the assignment. Not gaining points, gaining knowledge!
How long does that paper need to be?
As long as it takes to get your ideas down, making sense, and worth it.
What do we need to know for this test?
Everything. You need to know everything for this test.
To be “knowledgeable” is to know a bunch of stuff. I feel as though people are considered “smart” when they are able to recite the entirety of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet from memory or being able to tell someone every random law each state has. Impressive. But what are you going to do with that information?
Being knowledge-able is the ability to find, sort, analyze, criticize, and create new information. It’s pretty awesome if you’re able to memorize information on a dime, but to be even more impressive, tell me what you’re going to do with what you’ve learned.
Instead of teaching students to find the right answer, we should be teaching them what they can DO with that answer. Students need to learn to be critical thinkers instead of answer-seekers. We should be teaching them how to make connections, organize their thoughts, share ideas, collect a vast array of information, collaborate with the world, and publish something new!
I believe the first step is to embrace real problems - help the students make connections so that they feel a part of what they are learning.