Beyond exams and essays: Creative methods of assessment in German studies

Our German section make wide use of different assessment formats which boost our students’ creativity, flexibility, promote dissemination of students’ research findings and work inclusively. Generally, coursework assessment offers varying tasks which allow students to play to their strength but also explore new forms of working. Thus Part 1 modules like Icons of Modern Germany base tasks on varying primary sources from East German schoolbooks to West German pop songs; students can choose between text question, contextualising visual materials or commenting on a song or poem; they can also decide to either write an essay or produce a poster.

This variety continues into Parts 2 and 3. For example, uur Word Formation module allows students to write a commentary as well as updated version on a dictionary entry. In the module on Romantic literature, students get the option to do a creative project which can consist of a translation, writing a (fictitious) letter or diary based on an author or literary character, or generate a series of drawings or paintings on some literary piece. The option to do posters which present findings to a wider public can be chosen in the German cinema module. This broad range of formats and opportunities to think beyond the usual essay, is also there in our language modules which offer portfolio assessment or video shooting in addition to tests or essays.