Designing Effective Assignments

Sequenced Assignments with Different Forms of Media

Author: 
Greg Downey, Library and Information Studies
Description: 
Taught by Professor Greg Downey, this hybrid in-person/online course gives students the chance to experiment with personal publishing tools such as weblogs and video podcasts.

The Information Society: Hybrid In-person/Online Course Syllabus

Why Learning to Write Well in College Is Difficult

Author: 
Bill Cerbin, Assistant to the Provost, UW-La Crosse, and Terry Beck, Department of English, UW-La Crosse
Description: 
In this list, Cerbin and Beck offer insightful explanations for why students struggle when they move from high school to college writing and when they write in different disciplines. Cerbin and Beck offer instructors explicit issues to consider when designing writing assignments, working with students on writing, and evaluating written work.

The following list is not, of course, meant to rationalize sub-par writing by college students. Nor can one course instructor address all the challenges listed below.

Reinventing the Intermediate Organic Chemistry Laboratory

How does one go about updating a curricular classic? And what role do writing assignments play? These are the questions we asked Assistant Professor Helen Blackwell, recent winner of a prestigious university teaching award. We were interested in how she and colleagues reinvented the Intermediate Organic Chemistry Laboratory (Chemistry 346).

Some Concrete Tips for Working with Multilingual Writers

· Think carefully about unspoken assumptions about successful writing in your course and try to make your expectations as explicit as possible.

 

Burning Questions--Why Your Students Should Have Them

Author: 
Matthew Pearson
Description: 
Encouraging your students to write about issues that genuinely interest them is one of the best ways to help students to learn new things in your course and to write high-quality papers.

One of the challenges facing any instructor is trying to pinpoint why some papers are compelling and pleasurable to read, while others are difficult to get through, or simply not that exciting to read. Often, a central reason for less-than-stellar writing is that a few students do not have a genuine interest in their topics and a desire to know more about it.

Writing Assignments in Anthropology 490

Author: 
Karen Strier
Description: 
Focusing on the point, structure, audience, topic, and format for course papers, anthropologist Karen Strier advises her students about writing the one and five-page papers for her writing-intensive senior seminar.

This is a writing intensive course, which means frequent writing assignments, lots of feedback, opportunities to work on both the content of your papers and how you communicate your knowledge and ideas in writing. The writing assignments are intended to fulfill the assumption that “writing facilitates learning.” I think you will enjoy them.

Astronomy 236 Writing Assignments

Author: 
Eric Wilcots

Professor Eric Wilcots teaches a Communication-B course titled "The History of Matter in the Universe." His course Web site includes details about the four writing assignments.

Sample Rubric for Problem Reports and Reflections in a Math Course

Author: 
Jamie Sutherland, Mathematics Department, UW-Madison
Description: 
In this example, the instructor carefully explains the purpose of two different kinds of assignments and uses the rubric to identify the specific traits of strong papers.

Math 130 Sutherland

Lecture 1&2 Spring 2005

 

A Guide to Writing in Math 130

 

Daniel Hausman's Model Philosophy Paper

Author: 
Daniel Hausman
Description: 
On the Web site for his course on Contemporary Moral Issues, Professor Daniel Hausman offers students general commentary on their first papers and illustrates his points with a model paper.

On the Web site for his course on Contemporary Moral Issues, Professor Daniel Hausman offers students general commentary on their first papers and illustrates his points with a model paper.

A Sample Journal Assignment

Author: 
Karen Ryker
Description: 
Professor Karen Ryker's journal assignment asks students to respond to readings, to class activities, and to rehearsals

The journal sets down your daily response to the textbook, to exercises and classwork, to your rehearsals. It should record specific, thoughtful analysis of information and methods and how they improve your technique.

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