Independent Second Year Project module (ISYP)
Our pioneering Independent Second Year Project module fosters independent learning skills.
The module increases the amount of control you have over the format of your work.
- teaching plans
- short films
- creative writing
- works of art
- reproductions of ancient objects
External examiners have highly commended the creative and skills-led modes of engagement encouraged by this module.
Outreach: Jason and the Argonauts
This module emphasises reception studies and encourages you to select your own materials for analysis when writing essays.
The 2006/07 version of the module led to three undergraduate students presenting the results of their research at the Annual General Meeting of the Classical Association in Liverpool (panel: ‘Voyages with Jason’).
In 2008/09, as part of the NoCOut project , a new element of non-traditional assessment was added to the module. Students were given the opportunity to create a website or a teaching plan, designed to communicate information about the Jason myth to a non-academic audience, instead of writing an essay.
The reception studies element of the module teaches students how to analyse versions of the myth aimed at a non-academic audience, providing understanding of important communicative techniques which can then be applied in the website/teaching plan. Students were also able to participate in an outreach programme by visiting a local primary school and observing, or trying their hand at, teaching.
Performance: Euripides- Experiments in Tragedy
This module gives students the opportunity to discuss how they would stage a passage from a tragedy by Euripides.
A ‘blocked text’ of the passage substitutes for part of the word-count of the essay, which explains and justifies the student’s staging decisions in terms of a close reading of the passage.
The module seminars emphasise performance and staging issues as an important way of getting to grips with the meaning of the plays. Students are invited to discuss the effect of staging the same scene in different ways, first by being directed and later by being invited to come up with their own suggestions for direction. Guidance on how to ‘block’ a text is provided, and videos of existing performances are shown.
Storyboarding: Virgil and the Epic Tradition
This module has in the past included the option to storyboard a passage from Aeneid.
The storyboard was a substitute for part of the word-count of the essay, which explained and justified the decisions made in terms of a close analysis of the passage.
The storyboarding technique was taught to the students via a lecture from a visiting professional artist, backed up by a seminar in which students could practice the technique. About a third of the students taking the module in 2002/03 produced a storyboard, and many of these received a very good mark. The external examiner praised the technique, which could also be used in other modules dealing with narrative texts or cinematic issues.
The work on this innovative assessment technique led to a presentation at the Annual General Meeting of the Classical Association in Birmingham (panel: ‘CSC Innovations in Teaching’), and to a chapter in a forthcoming book on Epic Visions.
With the exception of the ISYP, not all modules run each year, but do exemplify the type of innovative assessment available.
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