Rather than have traditional tests, over the course of the term students build a portfolio as evidence of proficiency in different communicative modes. At the end of the term, they re-examine their work and reflect on their progress. Students contribute to their portfolios in two main ways: Activités Quotidiennes and Activités du Dossier.
Activités Quotidiennes are daily items that replace what used to be the attendance and participation grade. At some point during each class meeting students complete a mini-activity. They may have to respond to a prompt, record a conversation with a partner, or watch a short video. The tasks vary and cycle through the five different ACTFL proficiencies. These are scored for completion, but allow the instructor to provide students with individual feedback. Once marked, digital copies with comments are returned to students via the course LMS while hard copies of any papers are stored in a student’s physical portfolio.
Activités du Dossier are more in-depth assignments that fulfill the role of typical tests. Each chapter requires students to complete 100 points worth of activities. 40 of those points are through specific in-class activities that all students must do. The remaining 60 points may be chosen by the student from an activity menu. Each menu is divided by mode and tiered from 10 to 30 points based on the complexity of the task.
Activity menus are posted at the beginning of each chapter and students have roughly 2.5 weeks to complete their chosen activities. They are able to preview every possibility and are given many different options for submitting their work. This format allows for considerable differentiation and personalization in student assignments. There is no “one size fits all” as each activity can be tailored to individual preferences and learning needs.