That daunting time of year when you actually have to prove that you learned something throughout the semester. But exactly how to prove it is what we like to get creative with here at the Institute for G.O.D. Because students, and not a rigid curriculum, are the focus at the Institute, the group projects and creative presentations that come together during finals week always put a sense of focus and anticipation in the air of classrooms and hallways and social gatherings around here. Even more, our education is training students in our greater mission. So a test is not just a test! It's a sign that you're growing in knowledge of the Lord and a very necessary understanding of the mission of G.O.D. International!
You might find a group meeting late into the evening to discuss their proposed plans for their 5-week trip to Africa this summer. Another group is conversing back and forth, albeit a little slowly, in Tagalog, as they prepare for their final exam in the class focused on the language of the people in the Philippines.
The night before finals began this last week, a handful of instructors from the Institute made themselves available at the ‘Genius Bar’ to assist students studying for finals, working on papers and preparing presentations for the week ahead.
During finals week, you can walk into a class on the Old Testament prophets and find presentation boards that students have created to visually display the impact of these individuals in their historical moment and how their message can be applied to our world today.
In another class, you would find students dialoguing with a panel of leaders that work in our various regional hubs around the world to give the students feedback regarding the feasibility of a project they are hoping to implement in that region this summer.
Intro to Public Health students had to hypothetically transport themselves to another country where they were giving a healthcare seminar to primary-aged students.
Students in a Math class had to create a project proposal for implementing a garden expansion in El Salvador. From putting together a budget, deciding what human resources would be necessary to creating a timeline for the project, students were able to put practical math to use in a real world context.
In a class that covers various New Testament letters written by Paul, students had to show their retention by continuing a roundtable dialogue for 3 hours concerning the content taught in the class.
Still others are taking tests and writing essays to ensure they grasped the concepts taught in their Bible classes, and even how they can practically implement such teachings into their own lives.
One of the observations you can make about finals week at the Institute is that it actually becomes a springboard for students to serve this summer. Be it implementing a community wide compost system in rural El Salvador or learning what gifts one has in order to be able to serve as they volunteer at Camp Skillz this summer, such focused study will culminate into fruitful labor.
So though things are wrapping up for the semester, in many ways they are just getting started.
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