November 30, 2017, by Sally Hanford

A project module in Classics that produces some absolutely fabulous ideas

In this video Lynn Fotheringham, Lecturer in Classics, speaks about the Independent Second Year Project, a module for second-year students in the Department of Classics, which has been a flag-ship for the Department’s innovative approach to teaching and assessment for twenty years.

The module’s focus is on communicating knowledge of the ancient world outside the Academy: students choose both the subject matter and format of their work which ranges from website, teaching-plan, travel guide, reconstruction, fiction to artwork.

This approach develops the ability to work independently, and the emphasis on communication enhances employability; students may also choose a product-type related to a possible future career.

Lynn says ‘The module really engages the students. It can be a bit scary initially because it’s so different, but it gives them the opportunity to do something that plays to their strengths and explore something that’s a bit different from their normal work. It produces some absolutely fabulous work and some absolutely fabulous ideas.’

This independent work in the second year is also very good preparation for their independent dissertation in the third year. It prepares them for that really important dissertation which is one third of their final mark.

Of the challenges of assessing the work submitted to such a module, Lynne says ‘We’ve done a lot of work on building the right kind of scaffolding to help the students undertake this unusual university exercise and on defining and describing the assessment criteria that we use to mark it. So if anyone else wanted to try instituting this or something like it, I would strongly encourage you to come and talk to us because we’d be very happy to share any of the materials that we’ve developed, and talk over the difficulties and the joys of running a module like this.’

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