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Assignment Design Strategies
- Clearly link the assignment to the course goals and learning objectives.
- Design assignments around real-world issues and events to engage and motivate students.
- Aim the assignment just slightly above students' current expertise.
- Break large, high-stakes assignments into multiple, lower-stake assignments. For example before the final project is due students might have already turned in and received feedback on a short summary of the issue, a list of library resources, or a first-person interview with an expert.
- Identify resources required for the assignment and make them readily available. For example, link directly to assignment readings through the library - unless one of the course learning goals is library research expertise!
- Be clear about assessment: Provide grading guidelines for the assignment in the form of rubrics or examples of acceptable and unacceptable work.
- Provide supporting structures - templates, peer review, examples, multiple drafts, guidelines for library research, etc. Remove these supports slowly as students achieve greater levels of competency and expertise.
- Include plagiarism, re-write and overdue policies in the syllabus.
- Revise assignments for next term based on student performance and feedback. Is the assignment successful at developing student expertise as identified in the course learning goals?