New way to take finals

ALBERT LEA, Minn. –  Having students do something else in place of a final exam is a new trend working its way across the country.

Bill Wietman teaches statistics at Albert Lea High School. He said the idea of what he is calling the “20 percent project” came up in educational chats.

The name comes from the fact that final exams are 20 percent of a student’s final grade. Plus, he gave them 20 percent of their time every week to do whatever they wanted for a final project.

“This allows them to learn on their own ability, to create something, come up with it and fail at it and find a new route to do something, really the stuff that you and I do every day,” Wietman said.

He said it is just a different way of learning.

“I can tell exactly what these students learned and they are presenting it in a way that they want to present it. Most chose PowerPoint, but there were a few that did presentations and performances and to be able to present that learning in a different way is definitely an important part,” Wietman said.

He said statistics is an elective and not a required course. That allows him to be flexible on things like this since there are no state mandated finals.

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