The biggest change is the 20% Time Project. I know I've spoken about this before, but I finally have a working copy of the assignment ready to go. Basically, students will have a choice of doing the traditional British Literature research paper, or doing the 20% Time project in which they have to design their own project which solves a problem in the field of their choice. The 20% Time project will arguably take more time/work than the research paper, but that time will be spread out from October to May, rather than bunched together solely in March and April. (And of course, if you're doing something you enjoy, is it really work?) The thing is, I really want students to consider this a choice. The traditional research paper isn't a "punishment", some students just really enjoy the structure and rigor of that type of assignment. Others struggle with it, especially seniors who have no plans on pursuing an English field, so I'm offering other options to work on researching skills. As with any choice in class, this will work will if I get an even split. If only the "top" students choose the 20% project, the others will miss on a great opportunity. If no one chooses the research paper, it will be logistically difficult and many students will be confused as they're simply trying to avoid a paper.
And of course, this is why teachers don't usually give choice. There's a lot of variables and uncertainty. There's a certain comfort in control. I suppose it's like the Joker once said, "[Comfortable] people shouldn't live here. They'd be happier some place else." If you want to change things, you need to make everyone a little uncomfortable.