Role Play Provides Alternate Assessment


Mikhail Vasilyev, Staff Writer

AP European History held a simulation of an Enlightenment Era salon, in which students dressed up as famous philosophers and held a potluck instead of having a test, on November 18.

Each student was required to research their assigned historical figures and come to class dressed in their likenesses. Students were also expected to bring food, and mingle with others in a historically accurate way. They were encouraged to remain in character, which naturally led to various heated debates.

AP European History teacher Paul Verbanszky said, “I’m a big believer in having multiple forms of assessments, and what’s nice about this is that students are learning while still having fun. In this way, I can judge their knowledge in a different way than just having them take a test.”

According to sophomore Sofia West, the students enjoyed the project. “I could tell that everyone loved the salon, and I had a lot of fun. It was really fun playing a role and arguing for something that you don’t necessarily stand for. For instance, my philosopher argued against women’s rights, and I had to play that role and argue that position,” she said.

Sophomore Cal Hunter said that he enjoyed the food and debating his peers. “Getting to fervently debate and yell at others was actually really fun. I totally prefer this over a test. The food was pretty great too!” he added.

Verbanszky plans to hold it again next year. “I saw that all of my students loved the project, and I could analyze their learning and have them learn in a way different from just a test.”