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  • August 5, 2020
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Assignment based evaluation Vs Exam based evaluation for management programs – Merits for Executive MBA students

blog-assign-exam123

Assignment and examination-based evaluation are two of the most common assessment methods for evaluating the progress of students in their learning. Moreover, the essential purpose of evaluating student learning is to determine whether the students are achieving the learning outcomes laid out for them.

Assignment based evaluation Vs Exam based evaluation

Now the big question is, which one is more effective? An assignment-based evaluation or an exam-based evaluation.

Research and records indicate that, over the last 40 years in the United Kingdom and other nations, the assignment-based evaluation or completion of the module assessment of higher education coursework (postgraduate, Master’s & Ph.D.) has significantly enhanced. This has been exemplified in numerous academic research articles. It is likewise recognized that a higher proportion of learners themselves chose to be assessed along with the basis of coursework or assignment. The study also shows that the assignment-based assessment continues to yield a better score than the examination alone. A well-known researcher on this subject in 2015, John T.E. Richardson, found that student examination-based performance is more common. In its conclusions, the researcher emphasized the lack of feedback in an examination-based appraisal and its deficiency in the proper evaluation of the scope and depth of learning per se. The researcher also reasoned that, rather than promoting successful learning, an exam-based assessment merely measures knowledge at the particular moment, it means that the student’s examination experience does not make a reasonable contribution to learning compared to the way the assignment-based evaluation does. However, the review-based evaluation cannot be rejected; a blended methodology can be implemented. The evaluation of the coursework has to be given more attention because it provides students with a stronger learning experience.

Advantages of Assignment based evaluation

Needless to mention, assignment-based assessments can encourage higher teaching and learning experiences for students to think critically, develop new perspectives, resolve problems, navigate incidents, and ask the right questions. The project results in better learning skills for students in general. Here are some of the distinct benefits of assignment-based evaluation:

  • Enhances cognitive and analytical capabilities – The rational reasoning of students is strengthened. They will get the opportunity to exercise and develop their mental and innovative ability. Assignments offer students a chance to experiment while becoming unconventional. It offers students the ability to be more productive and flexible.
  • Learners become research-oriented – Through their assignments, students are required to carry out an in-depth study of their specific topic. By doing so, they are throwing out different theories and exploring their subject. Research on their assignment experience also enhances the student’s practical and thought-provoking skills at a professional level.
  • Increases cognizance and understanding about the topic — Assignments allow students to understand the technical and practical information about their subject that they cannot completely grasp in theory. Students become more aware of various insightful principles and perspectives through their coursework, which ultimately leads to the rational development of a framework for their topic.
  • Improves the technical writing skills – Students are likewise expected to compose their assignments in the form of reports and on a certain study or scenario. The writing skills and talents are strengthened in this way. In the long term, students can articulate their thoughts and ideas more efficiently.

At Westford University College (WUC), we have implemented an assessment-based evaluation approach to assess the learning of our students. We periodically assess our MBA students with assigned coursework (assignment) to read their writing and work skills, discernment of the subject, and overall success in their course. We assume that high quality and equal evaluation are important to the development of effective learning.

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assignment based

assignment based

Assignment Based Versus Unseen Exams, Better Or Just Different?

"If my future were determined just by my performance on a standardized test, I wouldn't be here. I guarantee you that." - Michelle Obama

After investigating the different educational programs offered by international schools, parents often look into school assessment practices before choosing a school for their child. Modern-day parents have greater expectations for educational assessment than ever before. So what is the most effective way to measure student learning? Is it coursework or examination based assessment? Should school assessment focus on content-knowledge acquisition or students' ability to apply prior knowledge to new situations?

Katherine Beadle and Guy Cassarchis are both experts in international education. They are familiar with the various types of assessments conducted at international schools. Native to the UK, Katherine entered the field of education seventeen years ago. She taught in schools in London for eleven years. She was a principal of several established private schools before accepting her role as the school principal of Imperial International School. Having lived in Malaysia for six years, Katherine is well aware of the educational approaches in Malaysia.

An Australian native, Guy is a newly appointed principal of Peninsula International School. However, he is not new to Malaysia. He was the school principal and advisor for Masha International School. He also conducted workshops for teachers and students organized by the Malaysian Ministry of Education (MOE). Prior to this, he managed Grange School in Ikeja, Lagos, one of the top one hundred International Cambridge Schools in the world.

assignment based

Many argued that students today are more suited for an assignment-based curriculum as compared with the traditional British unseen exams model. What are your thoughts, given that your experience extends to the various examination types?

Education comes in many forms, so are assessments. There are different types of assignments and assessment methods. Schools that keep up with the latest education development tend to focus on both. They recognized the importance of coursework assignments and exam based evaluation. Being a principal for a local international school that runs an IGCSE program in Malaysia, I realized that most parents still have the misconception that the IGCSE curriculum mainly focuses on exam based evaluation. The truth is it is really up to schools to decide the approaches to assessment for IG programme. Some schools focus on forty percent of exams and sixty percent of coursework. It is unwise to use test scores alone to measure a student's academic performance but overall comprehensive evaluation. Performance in exams does not necessary reflect a student's true abilities.

assignment based

Formative assessment has its strength, where students are being assessed using feedback based on the answers they have provided in exams. This helps improve student achievement and promote better learning outcomes. They learn to identify their strengths and weaknesses based on standardize test scores. On the contrary, assignment based evaluation provides opportunities for students to think critically, learn to ask better questions and a space for them to experiment with new knowledge and try new skills and ideas.

At Peninsula International School, we measure and assess students using test scores and coursework. The primary goal of education is to help students to expand their knowledge and understanding, including skills for the next stage of life. With fifty percent coursework assessments and fifty percent examinations, such approach is good for assessing the different learning styles of students fairly.

It is unfair to use test scores alone to evaluate a student’s performance. A more effective way to measure and report student progress is using exam results and coursework assignments. The challenge for educators is to create meaningful and effective assignments that can meet the needs of diverse learners in a classroom. Besides evaluating students’ knowledge and their ability to apply materials taught in a class, teachers should evaluate their communication and presentation skills as well. Do they look and sound confident during a presentation?

It is disturbing for me to see local high school students being divided into arts and science streams, and the later is often seen by many even local educators as more important subjects. They believe arts are meant for academically weaker students. This is an outdated educational practice because it gives the misconception that nothing is of value unless it is related to science and math. With this said, I believe students should be given the opportunity to choose their courses.

Given the differences in approach between IGCSE and The Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE), which program you think best suit the local students and why?

First of all, I agreed with Guy. Some old practices remain in local schools and even universities. Students are still trained to memorize and reproduce facts from books instead of improving their problem-solving skills. Not having the right kind of skills can impact a child's development in the long run. There are schools that fail to recognize the advantages of public speaking. As for the tips of selecting the right educational program, I believe with the right help and careful research, it is possible for any parent to find a school that suits their children academic, social, and emotional needs.

Choosing the right school that provides the right kind of support can make a huge difference in a child’s life. Filter information and feedback gathered from various sources before committing to a school. With more and more international schools in Malaysia offering different teaching styles and school philosophies, the journey of getting the right school can be overwhelming. At the end of the day, it is all about finding a school that matches the child’s needs and learning styles, whether it is the VCE, IB or IGCSE. Only schools that apply the best assessment practices possible and know how to respond proactively to students’ needs can offer a child a better learning experience.

VCE measures students’ ability by how they perform in the classroom and test scores. To reward coursework points, students must finish their work in the classroom solely on their own without any help from their classmates or their subject teacher once the topic is being discussed thoroughly. This is the correct way to assess student understanding so that they can learn to take responsibility for their learning and become independent learners. We must teach our students the practical knowledge of how to evaluate their own performance and make progress. Sadly, some teachers are not aware that homework is not coursework. Homework is work that is done at home or outside the class, therefore homework marks should not be added toward the final grade.

assignment based

Due to cultural factors, some schools expect teachers to provide “help” or “tips” to students so that they can score higher marks, this will definitely hinder students from cultivating constructive, effective decision-making skills. Students who are conditioned to rely on their teachers to provide answers will remain as passive participants and there is very little if any involvement of students during class time. Therefore, even if the students achieved good results, the results don't necessary reflect the students true abilities and the "big picture". In this case, teachers becomes a giver of information rather than a facilitator of learning. A good teacher helps students see the value of their ideas and that their ideas and opinions matter.

What is the impact of the current pandemic on the effectiveness of teaching and learning?

No doubt the COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly disrupted the school system. But we should not let the situation affect student learning. The school needs to make sure all teachers are ready and prepared to take on the challenges that await them. There are various ways a school can support their teachers in case of prolonged school closure. One way is to provide adequate training so that teachers can employ creative measures to make online learning more engaging. One of the challenges of distance learning is getting students to stay focused as they are easily distracted by social media. Another challenge is poor internet connection hinders online learning. Therefore, parental supervision is a must.

I agreed with Katherine. There are concerns about online learning; but that doesn’t mean we can’t find solutions for them. Online learning is about prioritizing what to teach. Successful online learning requires both teachers and parents to work together; to be as involved as possible in a virtual classroom. Knowledge is nothing by itself unless one can apply the knowledge learned in real life. In my view, a good teacher is someone who knows how to guide and direct students to learn for themselves, and not telling them what to do. Spoon feeding can potentially deskill students from developing the necessary skills to survive in the real world.

For younger students, the sudden leap into online learning has posed additional challenges. They may not be comfortable using online tools to receive lessons and complete assignments. In this case, parents need to monitor them closely and help them adapt to distance learning successfully including the submission of homework.. Parental engagement is required for online education, at least during the initial phase.

Published in Dreamic Educational Magazine 2021.

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assignment based

Assignment-based vs examination-based evaluation systems

The current education system was developed in ancient times, refined and propagated during the colonial era. Currently, there are two types of evaluation systems that are popular among educational institutions: assignment-based and examination-based evaluation systems. The system and approach towards education have been reformed after the recent reforms in the education industry. The United Kingdom, having one of the finest education system in the world, has given preference to the assignment-based evaluation system. In most of its higher education programs, such as the PhD and Masters Degree Programs, assignments are the primary means of progression.

As assignment-based evaluation has become a standard in many fine education systems, the recent reforms in online learning have also considered this. Many prestigious institutes like SNATIKA have chosen this type of assessment system in their programs. Assessment only by assignments or by a mixture of assignments and examinations yields higher marks than assessment only by examinations (Source: John Richardson T.E. ). In this article, we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of both assignment-based and examination-based evaluation systems. 

Advantages of assignment-based evaluation

assignment based

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An assignment is a written or digitally created piece of academic work. It forces a learner to learn, practice, and demonstrate their progress and achievements in academics. An assignment-based evaluation system considers assignments written by the learners as the measure of learning, as opposed to an examination-based evaluation system. However, many institutes use both systems to varying degrees.

The assignment-based education is a preferred method for senior professionals that are working full-time jobs, have family commitments and have a flair for in-depth education in their industry. In the case of SNATIKA , the immersive syllabus coupled with experience on the part of the learner can make the assignments one of the most intellectually challenging and, at the same time, enjoyable.

Writing assignments is an intellectually challenging task. Especially in advanced programs like PhD and Masters Degree programs, assignments require intensive research on the topics. The proficiency, understanding, and expertise on the subject can greatly vary, depending on the type and length of the assignment. Here are the advantages of this evaluation.

1. Assignment-based evaluation enhances cognitive and analytical capabilities

An assignment needs careful planning. To succeed, a learner needs to connect data from different sources. In doing so, the learner develops logical reasoning and critical thinking. Connecting different pieces of information and putting them together is a mental exercise. Often, it requires the learner to think unconventionally. These abilities are put to the test in educational institutes like SNATIKA , where you are required to write an 12,000-word consultancy project report to earn the UK Masters. Such an intellectual challenge can refine the learner's research and analytical skills and give a range of insights and perspectives into the industry.

2. The learner becomes research-oriented

Writing an assignment needs genuine, scientifically proven, and practical sources for the claims, numbers, and hypotheses mentioned in the assignment. Though the digital world has made information available at the fingertips, it is hard to find genuine news, statistics, or research from the relevant industry. Furthermore, false news and propaganda are on the rise. Fake news has become a major concern for the internal security of most nations (Source: PNAS.org ). It takes time and effort to assess the veracity of misinformation, fake news, and claims.

This internet misinformation problem can pose a threat as well as a learning opportunity to assignment writers. Though it takes some time to find genuine sources, with time, learners will develop a flair for identifying the fake from the genuine on the internet. In a world devoid of such a moral compass in the news, this research-oriented, fact-finding skill can be an asset for the learner.

Moreover, the learner will gain in-depth knowledge and understanding of the industry with the assignments. As sources and research become the foundation of assignments, the learner will gain overall mastery of their industry. This attitude will help the learner in future jobs or businesses as it eliminates guesswork, assumptions, and hypotheses.

3. It increases understanding of the subject.

Typically, an assignment needs the complete involvement of the learner to write. This includes all the facilities of the brain like thinking, reasoning, problem-solving, writing, fact-checking, and intuition. Above all, to write something, the learner must have a solid understanding of the topic to the degree of expertise. Copy-pasting or rote rehearsals are simply not an option for writing an original assignment, free from plagiarism. As this forces the learner to completely grasp the subject, their understanding becomes deeper and more robust. Also, assignments help the learner to gain more insights through standing in the shoes of other industry experts, scholars, and researchers.

4. Improves technical writing abilities

Writing an original assignment on any subject stimulates the writer's brain. Without proper structure, flow, or facts, such writing can become tiresome to the reader, who, in this case, is the evaluator. However, due to a deep understanding of the subject, a learner can easily acquire these writing qualities as time progresses. Through trial and error, learners develop and refine their technical writing skills.

Technical writing can be useful in many other areas of the learner's professional life. In this digital age, writing research-based technical articles can change the perspectives of customers, business owners, stockholders, and critics alike. It also enables the learner to articulate their thoughts, ideas, and criticisms in a powerful way to their audience.

5. Promotes originality

Plagiarism is an epidemic. With the exponential popularity of the internet, originality is in short supply. Due to the demand for content and the sheer size of the internet, people resort to copy-pasting content from others. Often, these go unnoticed because of the huge user base. However, it denies the original creator the recognition, money, or popularity that they are entitled to. Saving one's original content from the invasive plagiarists is a daunting task for intellectual property owners and content creators.

Writing an original assignment that had plagiarism limits forces the learner to identify the immorality of copy-pasting. It also teaches the learner to cite their sources and give the original authors the credit and recognition they deserve. In a world where piracy is destroying industries like movies, songs, and photographs, plagiarism-free assignments might cause a revolution.

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Disadvantages of assignment-based evaluation

1. university guidelines.

Learners sometimes struggle with understanding the university guidelines on writing assignments. International learners initially find it difficult to understand complex rules, word limits, and the progression process of assignment-based education systems. However, once the learning curve flattens, this can be less bothersome for these learners.

2. Language and accent differences

International learners struggle with keeping up with the language standards, especially the accent of the university. Non-native learners often struggle with expressing their thoughts and ideas in writing. Also, following the complex grammar rules of the language can be a problem.

3. Difficulty with specific skills

If the learner is new to the assignment-based evaluation system, they will struggle with the extra skills that are needed in writing the assignment. They struggle with researching on the internet, where misinformation and clickbait are plentiful. They struggle to connect their learning with reasoning or to express their ideas through words.

4. Plagiarism

For many learners, writing plagiarism-free content can become a major hurdle. Due to poor research and writing skills, plagiarism levels can go higher than the set limitations. Those learners who are new to plagiarism checking find it hard to paraphrase, cite, and edit their academic work.

However, this problem can be easily overcome with modern AI software like Grammarly , Duplichecker , etc. Many such online tools help in paraphrasing and citing the source. Even then, human intervention is necessary to adjust the assignment to the right accent and tone.

5. Time-consuming for educators

Preparing the assignment questions and pointers is a time-consuming task. Also, evaluating the learner's assignments is even more time-consuming. This can add more complexity to educational institutions where the teacher-to-learner ratio is smaller. As a result, teachers will struggle to make ends meet in terms of time limitations.

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The advantages of examination-based evaluation

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1. Self-assessment

Examinations are used to quickly measure learning. Learners can easily determine the quality of their study techniques through exams, tests, and quizzes. These help the learner and the educator to identify and avoid key teaching pitfalls faster than an assignment-based evaluation system.

2. Easy detection of teaching flaws

The examination-based evaluation can detect not only key areas where the learner is failing but also the teacher’s and teaching system's overall performance as well. Similar to the self-assessment by a student, exams can also be used by educators to improve their styles.

3. Personality growth

Competitive environment : Examinations create a competitive environment that reflects similar real-life scenarios. Here, learners are educated to provide results that satisfy some set standards, though they are rigid and outdated. This helps learners thrive in competitive environments.

Memory improvement : Exams increase learners’ memory. It introduces them to a range of memory techniques like rote rehearsals, mnemonics, visualisation, etc. Contrary to popular opinion, these memorization techniques can benefit the brain, thinking, and reasoning of the learner in many ways (Source: Forbes ).

Stress management : Examinations induce stress in learners. The need to excel, the possibility of failure and its consequences keep many learners awake at night. However, this can also help in learning and thriving under such pressure.

Such benefits can help the learner develop their competence and performance. This helps with overall personality development.

4. Scholarships and employment opportunities

Finally, examinations and their grades, ranks, or marks can get you scholarships if you are planning to continue your education and job opportunities if you are job hunting. Even today, higher ranks and marks are the sole measure of human intelligence in many countries and companies. This benefits the learner in landing better entry-level jobs.

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Disadvantages of examination based evaluation

1. examinations have become a formality..

There is always the risk in the examination-based education system that the learner only learns the syllabus to pass and obtain the degree or certification. As a result, the learner focuses only on some key areas of the syllabus and uses memorization instead of understanding the subject to pass the exam. This defeats the purpose of education. As education is viewed as solely a formality to get a job or a seat in a prestigious institution, education loses its meaning. After passing out, most learners won’t even remember what they have learnt. Education that does not develop the learner's knowledge and thinking is only a waste of time and effort.

2. Examinations cause stress.

In many cases, examinations cause anxiety in learners. As exams typically test the learner's knowledge of the whole syllabus on a single day, it causes learning overload or revision overload, which results in stress. This is especially a problem for learners struggling with procrastination and poor time management skills.

In many countries, like India, suicide due to failure in exams is a major drawback of examination-based evaluation. Because of this, over 4,000 students lost their lives by suicide between 2017 and 2019 (Source: The Hindustan Times ). This happens due to the social stigma against those who have failed examinations. Unhealthy competition between institutions, and unreasonable expectations of self, family, and society are some of the reasons why many learners lose their precious lives to suicide.

3. Unhealthy rivalry

Examinations are a primary source of the status quo for many prestigious institutions. To secure top ranks, these institutions admit only competitive individuals, which side-lines other learners who are as much in need of quality education as others. This applies to teaching staff as well. Overall, examinations can cause immense stress for both learners and staff, for better or worse. Competition between such institutes leaves a negative effect on their students about the idea of education.

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The SNATIKA pedagogy

SNATIKA combines both these evaluation methods in its pedagogy. The primary evaluation method for learning is assignment-based evaluation. The same is used to evaluate the progress of SNATIKA learners in all the programs. However, SNATIKA uses quizzes for each unit to help learners assess their progress. A quiz in each unit tests the learners' knowledge and helps in identifying the gaps immediately. However, this is only for personal assessment rather than for university assessment. As a result, learners gain robust learning experiences without leaving out the advantages of either of these two evaluation methods.

Both assignment-based evaluation and examination-based evaluation have their merits and demerits. To be successful, learners and educators need to play the learning game to the strengths of both types of systems.

While the assignment-based evaluation develops critical academic and life skills and deepens the thinking capacity of a learner, the examination-based evaluation creates a competitive environment and a drive to perform better in education. However, both systems will fail in the absence of a true learning spirit on the part of the learner. Learning solely for grades, marks, or qualifications defeats the purpose of education. Care must be taken to truly employ both systems to independently develop the thinking capacity, skills, and knowledge of the learner.

While both systems have their own pros and cons, a mixed system carefully wrought according to the needs of learners can be the ideal system for learning. With decades of education experience, our founders at SNATIKA have developed a smart pedagogy that uses both systems to make your crucial higher educational qualification pursuit an enjoyable learning experience for senior learners. Visit SNATIKA and explore our range of prestigious international programs in the higher education category.

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Designing Assignments for Learning

The rapid shift to remote teaching and learning meant that many instructors reimagined their assessment practices. Whether adapting existing assignments or creatively designing new opportunities for their students to learn, instructors focused on helping students make meaning and demonstrate their learning outside of the traditional, face-to-face classroom setting. This resource distills the elements of assignment design that are important to carry forward as we continue to seek better ways of assessing learning and build on our innovative assignment designs.

On this page:

Rethinking traditional tests, quizzes, and exams.

  • Examples from the Columbia University Classroom
  • Tips for Designing Assignments for Learning

Reflect On Your Assignment Design

Connect with the ctl.

  • Resources and References

Cite this resource: Columbia Center for Teaching and Learning (2021). Designing Assignments for Learning. Columbia University. Retrieved [today’s date] from https://ctl.columbia.edu/resources-and-technology/teaching-with-technology/teaching-online/designing-assignments/

assignment based

Traditional assessments tend to reveal whether students can recognize, recall, or replicate what was learned out of context, and tend to focus on students providing correct responses (Wiggins, 1990). In contrast, authentic assignments, which are course assessments, engage students in higher order thinking, as they grapple with real or simulated challenges that help them prepare for their professional lives, and draw on the course knowledge learned and the skills acquired to create justifiable answers, performances or products (Wiggins, 1990). An authentic assessment provides opportunities for students to practice, consult resources, learn from feedback, and refine their performances and products accordingly (Wiggins 1990, 1998, 2014). 

Authentic assignments ask students to “do” the subject with an audience in mind and apply their learning in a new situation. Examples of authentic assignments include asking students to: 

  • Write for a real audience (e.g., a memo, a policy brief, letter to the editor, a grant proposal, reports, building a website) and/or publication;
  • Solve problem sets that have real world application; 
  • Design projects that address a real world problem; 
  • Engage in a community-partnered research project;
  • Create an exhibit, performance, or conference presentation ;
  • Compile and reflect on their work through a portfolio/e-portfolio.

Noteworthy elements of authentic designs are that instructors scaffold the assignment, and play an active role in preparing students for the tasks assigned, while students are intentionally asked to reflect on the process and product of their work thus building their metacognitive skills (Herrington and Oliver, 2000; Ashford-Rowe, Herrington and Brown, 2013; Frey, Schmitt, and Allen, 2012). 

It’s worth noting here that authentic assessments can initially be time consuming to design, implement, and grade. They are critiqued for being challenging to use across course contexts and for grading reliability issues (Maclellan, 2004). Despite these challenges, authentic assessments are recognized as beneficial to student learning (Svinicki, 2004) as they are learner-centered (Weimer, 2013), promote academic integrity (McLaughlin, L. and Ricevuto, 2021; Sotiriadou et al., 2019; Schroeder, 2021) and motivate students to learn (Ambrose et al., 2010). The Columbia Center for Teaching and Learning is always available to consult with faculty who are considering authentic assessment designs and to discuss challenges and affordances.   

Examples from the Columbia University Classroom 

Columbia instructors have experimented with alternative ways of assessing student learning from oral exams to technology-enhanced assignments. Below are a few examples of authentic assignments in various teaching contexts across Columbia University. 

  • E-portfolios: Statia Cook shares her experiences with an ePorfolio assignment in her co-taught Frontiers of Science course (a submission to the Voices of Hybrid and Online Teaching and Learning initiative); CUIMC use of ePortfolios ;
  • Case studies: Columbia instructors have engaged their students in authentic ways through case studies drawing on the Case Consortium at Columbia University. Read and watch a faculty spotlight to learn how Professor Mary Ann Price uses the case method to place pre-med students in real-life scenarios;
  • Simulations: students at CUIMC engage in simulations to develop their professional skills in The Mary & Michael Jaharis Simulation Center in the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and the Helene Fuld Health Trust Simulation Center in the Columbia School of Nursing; 
  • Experiential learning: instructors have drawn on New York City as a learning laboratory such as Barnard’s NYC as Lab webpage which highlights courses that engage students in NYC;
  • Design projects that address real world problems: Yevgeniy Yesilevskiy on the Engineering design projects completed using lab kits during remote learning. Watch Dr. Yesilevskiy talk about his teaching and read the Columbia News article . 
  • Writing assignments: Lia Marshall and her teaching associate Aparna Balasundaram reflect on their “non-disposable or renewable assignments” to prepare social work students for their professional lives as they write for a real audience; and Hannah Weaver spoke about a sandbox assignment used in her Core Literature Humanities course at the 2021 Celebration of Teaching and Learning Symposium . Watch Dr. Weaver share her experiences.  

​Tips for Designing Assignments for Learning

While designing an effective authentic assignment may seem like a daunting task, the following tips can be used as a starting point. See the Resources section for frameworks and tools that may be useful in this effort.  

Align the assignment with your course learning objectives 

Identify the kind of thinking that is important in your course, the knowledge students will apply, and the skills they will practice using through the assignment. What kind of thinking will students be asked to do for the assignment? What will students learn by completing this assignment? How will the assignment help students achieve the desired course learning outcomes? For more information on course learning objectives, see the CTL’s Course Design Essentials self-paced course and watch the video on Articulating Learning Objectives .  

Identify an authentic meaning-making task

For meaning-making to occur, students need to understand the relevance of the assignment to the course and beyond (Ambrose et al., 2010). To Bean (2011) a “meaning-making” or “meaning-constructing” task has two dimensions: 1) it presents students with an authentic disciplinary problem or asks students to formulate their own problems, both of which engage them in active critical thinking, and 2) the problem is placed in “a context that gives students a role or purpose, a targeted audience, and a genre.” (Bean, 2011: 97-98). 

An authentic task gives students a realistic challenge to grapple with, a role to take on that allows them to “rehearse for the complex ambiguities” of life, provides resources and supports to draw on, and requires students to justify their work and the process they used to inform their solution (Wiggins, 1990). Note that if students find an assignment interesting or relevant, they will see value in completing it. 

Consider the kind of activities in the real world that use the knowledge and skills that are the focus of your course. How is this knowledge and these skills applied to answer real-world questions to solve real-world problems? (Herrington et al., 2010: 22). What do professionals or academics in your discipline do on a regular basis? What does it mean to think like a biologist, statistician, historian, social scientist? How might your assignment ask students to draw on current events, issues, or problems that relate to the course and are of interest to them? How might your assignment tap into student motivation and engage them in the kinds of thinking they can apply to better understand the world around them? (Ambrose et al., 2010). 

Determine the evaluation criteria and create a rubric

To ensure equitable and consistent grading of assignments across students, make transparent the criteria you will use to evaluate student work. The criteria should focus on the knowledge and skills that are central to the assignment. Build on the criteria identified, create a rubric that makes explicit the expectations of deliverables and share this rubric with your students so they can use it as they work on the assignment. For more information on rubrics, see the CTL’s resource Incorporating Rubrics into Your Grading and Feedback Practices , and explore the Association of American Colleges & Universities VALUE Rubrics (Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education). 

Build in metacognition

Ask students to reflect on what and how they learned from the assignment. Help students uncover personal relevance of the assignment, find intrinsic value in their work, and deepen their motivation by asking them to reflect on their process and their assignment deliverable. Sample prompts might include: what did you learn from this assignment? How might you draw on the knowledge and skills you used on this assignment in the future? See Ambrose et al., 2010 for more strategies that support motivation and the CTL’s resource on Metacognition ). 

Provide students with opportunities to practice

Design your assignment to be a learning experience and prepare students for success on the assignment. If students can reasonably expect to be successful on an assignment when they put in the required effort ,with the support and guidance of the instructor, they are more likely to engage in the behaviors necessary for learning (Ambrose et al., 2010). Ensure student success by actively teaching the knowledge and skills of the course (e.g., how to problem solve, how to write for a particular audience), modeling the desired thinking, and creating learning activities that build up to a graded assignment. Provide opportunities for students to practice using the knowledge and skills they will need for the assignment, whether through low-stakes in-class activities or homework activities that include opportunities to receive and incorporate formative feedback. For more information on providing feedback, see the CTL resource Feedback for Learning . 

Communicate about the assignment 

Share the purpose, task, audience, expectations, and criteria for the assignment. Students may have expectations about assessments and how they will be graded that is informed by their prior experiences completing high-stakes assessments, so be transparent. Tell your students why you are asking them to do this assignment, what skills they will be using, how it aligns with the course learning outcomes, and why it is relevant to their learning and their professional lives (i.e., how practitioners / professionals use the knowledge and skills in your course in real world contexts and for what purposes). Finally, verify that students understand what they need to do to complete the assignment. This can be done by asking students to respond to poll questions about different parts of the assignment, a “scavenger hunt” of the assignment instructions–giving students questions to answer about the assignment and having them work in small groups to answer the questions, or by having students share back what they think is expected of them.

Plan to iterate and to keep the focus on learning 

Draw on multiple sources of data to help make decisions about what changes are needed to the assignment, the assignment instructions, and/or rubric to ensure that it contributes to student learning. Explore assignment performance data. As Deandra Little reminds us: “a really good assignment, which is a really good assessment, also teaches you something or tells the instructor something. As much as it tells you what students are learning, it’s also telling you what they aren’t learning.” ( Teaching in Higher Ed podcast episode 337 ). Assignment bottlenecks–where students get stuck or struggle–can be good indicators that students need further support or opportunities to practice prior to completing an assignment. This awareness can inform teaching decisions. 

Triangulate the performance data by collecting student feedback, and noting your own reflections about what worked well and what did not. Revise the assignment instructions, rubric, and teaching practices accordingly. Consider how you might better align your assignment with your course objectives and/or provide more opportunities for students to practice using the knowledge and skills that they will rely on for the assignment. Additionally, keep in mind societal, disciplinary, and technological changes as you tweak your assignments for future use. 

Now is a great time to reflect on your practices and experiences with assignment design and think critically about your approach. Take a closer look at an existing assignment. Questions to consider include: What is this assignment meant to do? What purpose does it serve? Why do you ask students to do this assignment? How are they prepared to complete the assignment? Does the assignment assess the kind of learning that you really want? What would help students learn from this assignment? 

Using the tips in the previous section: How can the assignment be tweaked to be more authentic and meaningful to students? 

As you plan forward for post-pandemic teaching and reflect on your practices and reimagine your course design, you may find the following CTL resources helpful: Reflecting On Your Experiences with Remote Teaching , Transition to In-Person Teaching , and Course Design Support .

The Columbia Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) is here to help!

For assistance with assignment design, rubric design, or any other teaching and learning need, please request a consultation by emailing [email protected]

Transparency in Learning and Teaching (TILT) framework for assignments. The TILT Examples and Resources page ( https://tilthighered.com/tiltexamplesandresources ) includes example assignments from across disciplines, as well as a transparent assignment template and a checklist for designing transparent assignments . Each emphasizes the importance of articulating to students the purpose of the assignment or activity, the what and how of the task, and specifying the criteria that will be used to assess students. 

Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) offers VALUE ADD (Assignment Design and Diagnostic) tools ( https://www.aacu.org/value-add-tools ) to help with the creation of clear and effective assignments that align with the desired learning outcomes and associated VALUE rubrics (Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education). VALUE ADD encourages instructors to explicitly state assignment information such as the purpose of the assignment, what skills students will be using, how it aligns with course learning outcomes, the assignment type, the audience and context for the assignment, clear evaluation criteria, desired formatting, and expectations for completion whether individual or in a group.

Villarroel et al. (2017) propose a blueprint for building authentic assessments which includes four steps: 1) consider the workplace context, 2) design the authentic assessment; 3) learn and apply standards for judgement; and 4) give feedback. 

References 

Ambrose, S. A., Bridges, M. W., & DiPietro, M. (2010). Chapter 3: What Factors Motivate Students to Learn? In How Learning Works: Seven Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching . Jossey-Bass. 

Ashford-Rowe, K., Herrington, J., and Brown, C. (2013). Establishing the critical elements that determine authentic assessment. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education. 39(2), 205-222, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02602938.2013.819566 .  

Bean, J.C. (2011). Engaging Ideas: The Professor’s Guide to Integrating Writing, Critical Thinking, and Active Learning in the Classroom . Second Edition. Jossey-Bass. 

Frey, B. B, Schmitt, V. L., and Allen, J. P. (2012). Defining Authentic Classroom Assessment. Practical Assessment, Research, and Evaluation. 17(2). DOI: https://doi.org/10.7275/sxbs-0829  

Herrington, J., Reeves, T. C., and Oliver, R. (2010). A Guide to Authentic e-Learning . Routledge. 

Herrington, J. and Oliver, R. (2000). An instructional design framework for authentic learning environments. Educational Technology Research and Development, 48(3), 23-48. 

Litchfield, B. C. and Dempsey, J. V. (2015). Authentic Assessment of Knowledge, Skills, and Attitudes. New Directions for Teaching and Learning. 142 (Summer 2015), 65-80. 

Maclellan, E. (2004). How convincing is alternative assessment for use in higher education. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education. 29(3), June 2004. DOI: 10.1080/0260293042000188267

McLaughlin, L. and Ricevuto, J. (2021). Assessments in a Virtual Environment: You Won’t Need that Lockdown Browser! Faculty Focus. June 2, 2021. 

Mueller, J. (2005). The Authentic Assessment Toolbox: Enhancing Student Learning through Online Faculty Development . MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching. 1(1). July 2005. Mueller’s Authentic Assessment Toolbox is available online. 

Schroeder, R. (2021). Vaccinate Against Cheating With Authentic Assessment . Inside Higher Ed. (February 26, 2021).  

Sotiriadou, P., Logan, D., Daly, A., and Guest, R. (2019). The role of authentic assessment to preserve academic integrity and promote skills development and employability. Studies in Higher Education. 45(111), 2132-2148. https://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2019.1582015    

Stachowiak, B. (Host). (November 25, 2020). Authentic Assignments with Deandra Little. (Episode 337). In Teaching in Higher Ed . https://teachinginhighered.com/podcast/authentic-assignments/  

Svinicki, M. D. (2004). Authentic Assessment: Testing in Reality. New Directions for Teaching and Learning. 100 (Winter 2004): 23-29. 

Villarroel, V., Bloxham, S, Bruna, D., Bruna, C., and Herrera-Seda, C. (2017). Authentic assessment: creating a blueprint for course design. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education. 43(5), 840-854. https://doi.org/10.1080/02602938.2017.1412396    

Weimer, M. (2013). Learner-Centered Teaching: Five Key Changes to Practice . Second Edition. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. 

Wiggins, G. (2014). Authenticity in assessment, (re-)defined and explained. Retrieved from https://grantwiggins.wordpress.com/2014/01/26/authenticity-in-assessment-re-defined-and-explained/

Wiggins, G. (1998). Teaching to the (Authentic) Test. Educational Leadership . April 1989. 41-47. 

Wiggins, Grant (1990). The Case for Authentic Assessment . Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation , 2(2). 

Wondering how AI tools might play a role in your course assignments?

See the CTL’s resource “Considerations for AI Tools in the Classroom.”

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The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Understanding Assignments

What this handout is about.

The first step in any successful college writing venture is reading the assignment. While this sounds like a simple task, it can be a tough one. This handout will help you unravel your assignment and begin to craft an effective response. Much of the following advice will involve translating typical assignment terms and practices into meaningful clues to the type of writing your instructor expects. See our short video for more tips.

Basic beginnings

Regardless of the assignment, department, or instructor, adopting these two habits will serve you well :

  • Read the assignment carefully as soon as you receive it. Do not put this task off—reading the assignment at the beginning will save you time, stress, and problems later. An assignment can look pretty straightforward at first, particularly if the instructor has provided lots of information. That does not mean it will not take time and effort to complete; you may even have to learn a new skill to complete the assignment.
  • Ask the instructor about anything you do not understand. Do not hesitate to approach your instructor. Instructors would prefer to set you straight before you hand the paper in. That’s also when you will find their feedback most useful.

Assignment formats

Many assignments follow a basic format. Assignments often begin with an overview of the topic, include a central verb or verbs that describe the task, and offer some additional suggestions, questions, or prompts to get you started.

An Overview of Some Kind

The instructor might set the stage with some general discussion of the subject of the assignment, introduce the topic, or remind you of something pertinent that you have discussed in class. For example:

“Throughout history, gerbils have played a key role in politics,” or “In the last few weeks of class, we have focused on the evening wear of the housefly …”

The Task of the Assignment

Pay attention; this part tells you what to do when you write the paper. Look for the key verb or verbs in the sentence. Words like analyze, summarize, or compare direct you to think about your topic in a certain way. Also pay attention to words such as how, what, when, where, and why; these words guide your attention toward specific information. (See the section in this handout titled “Key Terms” for more information.)

“Analyze the effect that gerbils had on the Russian Revolution”, or “Suggest an interpretation of housefly undergarments that differs from Darwin’s.”

Additional Material to Think about

Here you will find some questions to use as springboards as you begin to think about the topic. Instructors usually include these questions as suggestions rather than requirements. Do not feel compelled to answer every question unless the instructor asks you to do so. Pay attention to the order of the questions. Sometimes they suggest the thinking process your instructor imagines you will need to follow to begin thinking about the topic.

“You may wish to consider the differing views held by Communist gerbils vs. Monarchist gerbils, or Can there be such a thing as ‘the housefly garment industry’ or is it just a home-based craft?”

These are the instructor’s comments about writing expectations:

“Be concise”, “Write effectively”, or “Argue furiously.”

Technical Details

These instructions usually indicate format rules or guidelines.

“Your paper must be typed in Palatino font on gray paper and must not exceed 600 pages. It is due on the anniversary of Mao Tse-tung’s death.”

The assignment’s parts may not appear in exactly this order, and each part may be very long or really short. Nonetheless, being aware of this standard pattern can help you understand what your instructor wants you to do.

Interpreting the assignment

Ask yourself a few basic questions as you read and jot down the answers on the assignment sheet:

Why did your instructor ask you to do this particular task?

Who is your audience.

  • What kind of evidence do you need to support your ideas?

What kind of writing style is acceptable?

  • What are the absolute rules of the paper?

Try to look at the question from the point of view of the instructor. Recognize that your instructor has a reason for giving you this assignment and for giving it to you at a particular point in the semester. In every assignment, the instructor has a challenge for you. This challenge could be anything from demonstrating an ability to think clearly to demonstrating an ability to use the library. See the assignment not as a vague suggestion of what to do but as an opportunity to show that you can handle the course material as directed. Paper assignments give you more than a topic to discuss—they ask you to do something with the topic. Keep reminding yourself of that. Be careful to avoid the other extreme as well: do not read more into the assignment than what is there.

Of course, your instructor has given you an assignment so that he or she will be able to assess your understanding of the course material and give you an appropriate grade. But there is more to it than that. Your instructor has tried to design a learning experience of some kind. Your instructor wants you to think about something in a particular way for a particular reason. If you read the course description at the beginning of your syllabus, review the assigned readings, and consider the assignment itself, you may begin to see the plan, purpose, or approach to the subject matter that your instructor has created for you. If you still aren’t sure of the assignment’s goals, try asking the instructor. For help with this, see our handout on getting feedback .

Given your instructor’s efforts, it helps to answer the question: What is my purpose in completing this assignment? Is it to gather research from a variety of outside sources and present a coherent picture? Is it to take material I have been learning in class and apply it to a new situation? Is it to prove a point one way or another? Key words from the assignment can help you figure this out. Look for key terms in the form of active verbs that tell you what to do.

Key Terms: Finding Those Active Verbs

Here are some common key words and definitions to help you think about assignment terms:

Information words Ask you to demonstrate what you know about the subject, such as who, what, when, where, how, and why.

  • define —give the subject’s meaning (according to someone or something). Sometimes you have to give more than one view on the subject’s meaning
  • describe —provide details about the subject by answering question words (such as who, what, when, where, how, and why); you might also give details related to the five senses (what you see, hear, feel, taste, and smell)
  • explain —give reasons why or examples of how something happened
  • illustrate —give descriptive examples of the subject and show how each is connected with the subject
  • summarize —briefly list the important ideas you learned about the subject
  • trace —outline how something has changed or developed from an earlier time to its current form
  • research —gather material from outside sources about the subject, often with the implication or requirement that you will analyze what you have found

Relation words Ask you to demonstrate how things are connected.

  • compare —show how two or more things are similar (and, sometimes, different)
  • contrast —show how two or more things are dissimilar
  • apply—use details that you’ve been given to demonstrate how an idea, theory, or concept works in a particular situation
  • cause —show how one event or series of events made something else happen
  • relate —show or describe the connections between things

Interpretation words Ask you to defend ideas of your own about the subject. Do not see these words as requesting opinion alone (unless the assignment specifically says so), but as requiring opinion that is supported by concrete evidence. Remember examples, principles, definitions, or concepts from class or research and use them in your interpretation.

  • assess —summarize your opinion of the subject and measure it against something
  • prove, justify —give reasons or examples to demonstrate how or why something is the truth
  • evaluate, respond —state your opinion of the subject as good, bad, or some combination of the two, with examples and reasons
  • support —give reasons or evidence for something you believe (be sure to state clearly what it is that you believe)
  • synthesize —put two or more things together that have not been put together in class or in your readings before; do not just summarize one and then the other and say that they are similar or different—you must provide a reason for putting them together that runs all the way through the paper
  • analyze —determine how individual parts create or relate to the whole, figure out how something works, what it might mean, or why it is important
  • argue —take a side and defend it with evidence against the other side

More Clues to Your Purpose As you read the assignment, think about what the teacher does in class:

  • What kinds of textbooks or coursepack did your instructor choose for the course—ones that provide background information, explain theories or perspectives, or argue a point of view?
  • In lecture, does your instructor ask your opinion, try to prove her point of view, or use keywords that show up again in the assignment?
  • What kinds of assignments are typical in this discipline? Social science classes often expect more research. Humanities classes thrive on interpretation and analysis.
  • How do the assignments, readings, and lectures work together in the course? Instructors spend time designing courses, sometimes even arguing with their peers about the most effective course materials. Figuring out the overall design to the course will help you understand what each assignment is meant to achieve.

Now, what about your reader? Most undergraduates think of their audience as the instructor. True, your instructor is a good person to keep in mind as you write. But for the purposes of a good paper, think of your audience as someone like your roommate: smart enough to understand a clear, logical argument, but not someone who already knows exactly what is going on in your particular paper. Remember, even if the instructor knows everything there is to know about your paper topic, he or she still has to read your paper and assess your understanding. In other words, teach the material to your reader.

Aiming a paper at your audience happens in two ways: you make decisions about the tone and the level of information you want to convey.

  • Tone means the “voice” of your paper. Should you be chatty, formal, or objective? Usually you will find some happy medium—you do not want to alienate your reader by sounding condescending or superior, but you do not want to, um, like, totally wig on the man, you know? Eschew ostentatious erudition: some students think the way to sound academic is to use big words. Be careful—you can sound ridiculous, especially if you use the wrong big words.
  • The level of information you use depends on who you think your audience is. If you imagine your audience as your instructor and she already knows everything you have to say, you may find yourself leaving out key information that can cause your argument to be unconvincing and illogical. But you do not have to explain every single word or issue. If you are telling your roommate what happened on your favorite science fiction TV show last night, you do not say, “First a dark-haired white man of average height, wearing a suit and carrying a flashlight, walked into the room. Then a purple alien with fifteen arms and at least three eyes turned around. Then the man smiled slightly. In the background, you could hear a clock ticking. The room was fairly dark and had at least two windows that I saw.” You also do not say, “This guy found some aliens. The end.” Find some balance of useful details that support your main point.

You’ll find a much more detailed discussion of these concepts in our handout on audience .

The Grim Truth

With a few exceptions (including some lab and ethnography reports), you are probably being asked to make an argument. You must convince your audience. It is easy to forget this aim when you are researching and writing; as you become involved in your subject matter, you may become enmeshed in the details and focus on learning or simply telling the information you have found. You need to do more than just repeat what you have read. Your writing should have a point, and you should be able to say it in a sentence. Sometimes instructors call this sentence a “thesis” or a “claim.”

So, if your instructor tells you to write about some aspect of oral hygiene, you do not want to just list: “First, you brush your teeth with a soft brush and some peanut butter. Then, you floss with unwaxed, bologna-flavored string. Finally, gargle with bourbon.” Instead, you could say, “Of all the oral cleaning methods, sandblasting removes the most plaque. Therefore it should be recommended by the American Dental Association.” Or, “From an aesthetic perspective, moldy teeth can be quite charming. However, their joys are short-lived.”

Convincing the reader of your argument is the goal of academic writing. It doesn’t have to say “argument” anywhere in the assignment for you to need one. Look at the assignment and think about what kind of argument you could make about it instead of just seeing it as a checklist of information you have to present. For help with understanding the role of argument in academic writing, see our handout on argument .

What kind of evidence do you need?

There are many kinds of evidence, and what type of evidence will work for your assignment can depend on several factors–the discipline, the parameters of the assignment, and your instructor’s preference. Should you use statistics? Historical examples? Do you need to conduct your own experiment? Can you rely on personal experience? See our handout on evidence for suggestions on how to use evidence appropriately.

Make sure you are clear about this part of the assignment, because your use of evidence will be crucial in writing a successful paper. You are not just learning how to argue; you are learning how to argue with specific types of materials and ideas. Ask your instructor what counts as acceptable evidence. You can also ask a librarian for help. No matter what kind of evidence you use, be sure to cite it correctly—see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial .

You cannot always tell from the assignment just what sort of writing style your instructor expects. The instructor may be really laid back in class but still expect you to sound formal in writing. Or the instructor may be fairly formal in class and ask you to write a reflection paper where you need to use “I” and speak from your own experience.

Try to avoid false associations of a particular field with a style (“art historians like wacky creativity,” or “political scientists are boring and just give facts”) and look instead to the types of readings you have been given in class. No one expects you to write like Plato—just use the readings as a guide for what is standard or preferable to your instructor. When in doubt, ask your instructor about the level of formality she or he expects.

No matter what field you are writing for or what facts you are including, if you do not write so that your reader can understand your main idea, you have wasted your time. So make clarity your main goal. For specific help with style, see our handout on style .

Technical details about the assignment

The technical information you are given in an assignment always seems like the easy part. This section can actually give you lots of little hints about approaching the task. Find out if elements such as page length and citation format (see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial ) are negotiable. Some professors do not have strong preferences as long as you are consistent and fully answer the assignment. Some professors are very specific and will deduct big points for deviations.

Usually, the page length tells you something important: The instructor thinks the size of the paper is appropriate to the assignment’s parameters. In plain English, your instructor is telling you how many pages it should take for you to answer the question as fully as you are expected to. So if an assignment is two pages long, you cannot pad your paper with examples or reword your main idea several times. Hit your one point early, defend it with the clearest example, and finish quickly. If an assignment is ten pages long, you can be more complex in your main points and examples—and if you can only produce five pages for that assignment, you need to see someone for help—as soon as possible.

Tricks that don’t work

Your instructors are not fooled when you:

  • spend more time on the cover page than the essay —graphics, cool binders, and cute titles are no replacement for a well-written paper.
  • use huge fonts, wide margins, or extra spacing to pad the page length —these tricks are immediately obvious to the eye. Most instructors use the same word processor you do. They know what’s possible. Such tactics are especially damning when the instructor has a stack of 60 papers to grade and yours is the only one that low-flying airplane pilots could read.
  • use a paper from another class that covered “sort of similar” material . Again, the instructor has a particular task for you to fulfill in the assignment that usually relates to course material and lectures. Your other paper may not cover this material, and turning in the same paper for more than one course may constitute an Honor Code violation . Ask the instructor—it can’t hurt.
  • get all wacky and “creative” before you answer the question . Showing that you are able to think beyond the boundaries of a simple assignment can be good, but you must do what the assignment calls for first. Again, check with your instructor. A humorous tone can be refreshing for someone grading a stack of papers, but it will not get you a good grade if you have not fulfilled the task.

Critical reading of assignments leads to skills in other types of reading and writing. If you get good at figuring out what the real goals of assignments are, you are going to be better at understanding the goals of all of your classes and fields of study.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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  • Assessing Student Learning

In designing assessments or assignments for a course, instructors often think of exams or term papers, but there are many other types of assessments that may be appropriate for your course. If you are willing to think creatively about assignments that go beyond traditional exams or research papers, you may be able to design assignments that are more accurate reflections of the kind of thinking and problem-solving you want your students to engage in. In addition, non-traditional assignments can boost students’ motivation.

In developing creative assessments of your students’ learning, it is helpful to think about exactly what you want to assess. The questions below will help you focus on exactly what skills and knowledge your assessment should include.

  • Do you want to assess your students’ acquisition of specific content knowledge, or their ability to apply that knowledge to new situations (or both)?
  • Do you want to assess a product that students produce, or the process they went through to produce it, or both?
  • writing ability
  • speaking skills
  • use of information technology
  • Is a visual component to the assessment necessary or desirable?
  • Is the ability for students to work in a group an important component of the assessment?
  • Is it important that the assessment be time-constrained?

To help you think outside the box in developing assessments of your students’ learning, here are some alternatives to multiple-choice exams that can be used in many disciplines and contexts. They are organized based on what kinds of cognitive processes or skills they require.

Alternatives that draw on students’ creativity:

  • Advertisement
  • Development of a product or proposal (perhaps to be judged by external judges)
  • Diary entry for a real or fictional character
  • Letter to a friend explaining a problem or concept
  • Performance: e.g., a presentation to the class or a debate
  • Poem, play, or dialogue
  • Web page or video
  • Work of art, music, architecture, sculpture, etc.
  • Newspaper article or editorial

Alternatives that require analysis or evaluation:

  • Analysis and response to a case study
  • Analysis of data or a graph
  • Analysis of an event, performance, or work of art
  • Chart, graph, or diagram with explanation
  • Legal brief
  • Review of a book, play, performance, etc.
  • Literature review
  • Policy memo or executive summary
  • Diagram, table, chart, or visual aid

Alternatives that require work similar to what is required for a term paper, but that result in shorter documents:

  • Annotated bibliography
  • Introduction to a research paper or essay (rather than the full paper)
  • Executive summary
  • Research proposal addressed to a granting agency
  • Scientific abstract
  • Start of a term paper (the thesis statement and a detailed outline)

Alternatives that require only that students understand course material:

  • Explanation of a multiple-choice answer (students must explain why the answer they chose to a multiple-choice question is correct, or why the alternative answers are wrong)
  • Meaningful paragraph (given a list of specific terms, students must use the terms in a paragraph that demonstrates that they understand the terms and their interconnections)
  • Short-answer exam (rather than asking multiple-choice questions, make some questions short-answer, to require students to show their understanding of key concepts)

Alternatives that require integration of many skills and types of knowledge:

  • Poster (which could be presented to the class or a larger audience in a poster session)
  • Portfolio to demonstrate improvement or evolution of work and thinking over time
  • Powerpoint presentation
  • Reflection by students on what they have learned from an experience

Who Is Doing This at IUB

Ben Motz, in the department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, assesses his students’ understanding of concepts in his cognitive psychology course by asking them to produce 60-second public service announcements about the concepts. He describes the project in  this CITL faculty spotlight . He has also created a course in which students apply concepts of probability and techniques of statistical analysis to managing fantasy football leagues.  His course is described in  this news release .

Professor Leah Shopkow, in the department of History, has her students create posters to demonstrate their understanding of concepts in her medieval history class. The students present the posters in a poster session that is open to the public.

Learning Outcomes

Walvoord, Barbara and Virginia Anderson (1998). Types of assignments and tests. Appendix B in Effective Grading: A Tool for Learning and Assessment. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, pp. 193 – 195.

For More Help or Information

For help in designing creative assignments,  contact the CITL  to meet with a consultant. 

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Assignment based learning

Lsbr's unique approach to learning, unique assessment strategy.

London School of Business and Research (LSBR) , Assessment Strategy includes Assignment based learning.

Assignments and assessment are important aspects of learning. Completing an assignment is an opportunity to demonstrate your achievement. Feedback on assignments provides you with measurement of your achievement in relation to the standards set by the course and the college.

To ensure that all students have equal opportunities to demonstrate what they can do, and to receive accurate and useful feedback on their work,  London School of Business and Research (LSBR) has devised this Assignments and Assessment Policy, which sets out what is required and expected of both students and staff.

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London School of International Business (LSIB) uses an assessment strategy which includes assignment-based learning. We believe in assignments and assessments as a key aspects of learning: completing an assignment is an opportunity to demonstrate your achievements. LSIB will offer you feedback on assignments as to allow you to measure your achievement in relation to the standards set by the course and the college. LSIB has devised this Assignments and Assessment Policy to set out what is required and expected of both students and staff. This allows to ensure that all students have equal opportunities to demonstrate what they can do, and to receive accurate and useful feedback on their work.

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Differentiated Instruction Strategies: Tiered Assignments

Janelle cox.

  • September 23, 2014

Male teacher standing in front of a chalkboard behind a group of students

Many teachers use differentiated instruction strategies  as a way to reach all learners and accommodate each student’s learning style. One very helpful tactic to employ differentiated instruction is called tiered assignments—a technique often used within flexible groups.

Much like flexible grouping—or differentiated instruction as a whole, really—tiered assignments do not lock students into ability boxes. Instead, particular student clusters are assigned specific tasks within each group according to their readiness and comprehension without making them feel completely compartmentalized away from peers at different achievement levels.

There are six main ways to structure tiered assignments: challenge level, complexity, outcome, process, product, or resources. It is your job, based upon the specific learning tasks you’re focused on, to determine the best approach. Here we will take a brief look at these techniques.

Ways to Structure Tiered Assignments

Challenge level.

Tiering can be based on challenge level where student groups will tackle different assignments. Teachers can use Bloom’s Taxonomy as a guide to help them develop tasks of structure or questions at various levels. For example:

  • Group 1:  Students who need content reinforcement or practice will complete one activity that helps  build  understanding.
  • Group 2:  Students who have a firm understanding will complete another activity that  extends  what they already know.

When you tier assignments by complexity, you are addressing the needs of students who are at different levels using the same assignment. The trick here is to vary the focus of the assignment based upon whether each group is ready for more advanced work or simply trying to wrap their head around the concept for the first time. You can direct your students to create a poster on a specific issue—recycling and environmental care, for instance—but one group will focus on a singular perspective, while the other will consider several points of view and present an argument for or against each angle.

Tiering assignments by differentiated outcome is vaguely similar to complexity—all of your students will use the same materials, but depending on their readiness levels will actually have a different outcome. It may sound strange at first, but this strategy is quite beneficial to help advanced students work on more progressive applications of their student learning.

This differentiated instruction strategy is exactly what it sounds like—student groups will use different processes to achieve similar outcomes based upon readiness.

Tiered assignments can also be differentiated based on product. Teachers can use the Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligences to form groups that will hone particular skills for particular learning styles . For example, one group would be bodily/kinesthetic, and their task is to create and act out a skit. Another group would be visual/spatial, and their task would be to illustrate.

Tiering resources means that you are matching project materials to student groups based on readiness or instructional need. One flexible group may use a magazine while another may use a traditional textbook. As a tip, you should assign resources based on knowledge and readiness, but also consider the group’s reading level and comprehension.

How to Make Tiering Invisible to Students

From time to time, students may question why they are working on different assignments, using varied materials, or coming to dissimilar outcomes altogether. This could be a blow to your classroom morale if you’re not tactful in making your tiers invisible.

Make it a point to tell students that each group is using different materials or completing different activities so they can share what they learned with the class. Be neutral when grouping students, use numbers or colors for group names, and be equally enthusiastic while explaining assignments to each cluster.

Also, it’s important to make each tiered assignment equally interesting, engaging, and fair in terms of student expectations. The more flexible groups and materials you use, the more students will accept that this is the norm.

Tiering assignments is a fair way to differentiate learning. It allows teachers to meet the needs of all students while using varying levels of tasks. It’s a concept that can be infused into homework assignments, small groups, or even learning centers. If done properly, it can be a very effective method to differentiate learning because it challenges all students.

  • #DifferentiatedInstruction , #TieredAssignments

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10 Types of Assignments in Online Degree Programs

Students may respond to recorded video lectures, participate in discussion boards and write traditional research papers.

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(Getty Images) |

Learn What to Expect

Experts say online degree programs are just as rigorous as those offered on campus. Prospective online students should expect various types of coursework suited for a virtual environment, such as discussion boards or wikis, or more traditional research papers and group projects .

Here are 10 types of assignments you may encounter in online courses.

Businesswoman working at laptop

Read or Watch, Then Respond

An instructor provides a recorded lecture, article or book chapter and requires students to answer questions. Students generally complete the assignment at their own pace, so long as they meet the ultimate deadline, Bradley Fuster, associate vice president of institutional effectiveness at SUNY Buffalo State , wrote in a recent U.S. News blog post .

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(Jessica Peterson | Getty Images)

Discussion Boards

The discussion forum is a major part of many online classes, experts say, and often supplements weekly coursework. Generally, the professor poses a question, and students respond to the prompt as well as each other. Sometimes, students must submit their own post before seeing classmates' answers.

"Good response posts are response posts that do not only agree or disagree," Noam Ebner, who then led the online graduate program in negotiation and conflict resolution at Creighton University 's law school, told U.S. News in 2015. "When you read another student's post, you have the ability to expand the conversation."

Businessman having teleconference on laptop in office

(Ariel Skelley | Getty Images)

Group Projects

Just because online students may live around the world doesn't mean they won't complete group work. Students may use Google Docs to edit assignments, email to brainstorm ideas and software such as Zoom to videoconference. Katy Katz, who earned an online MBA in 2013 at Benedictine University in Illinois, used both Skype and a chat feature in her online classroom to communicate with classmates.

"That was a good way for our instructor to see that everyone was participating," she told U.S. News in 2015. "Any planning we did – if there were going to be changes to meeting times – we would communicate in that chat area."

Serious Caucasian businessman using laptop

(Dave and Les Jacobs | Getty Images)

Virtual Presentations

Students may also give either live or recorded presentations to their classmates. At Colorado State University—Global Campus , for example, students use various video technologies and microphones for oral presentations, or software such as Prezi for more visual assignments, says Karen Ferguson, the online school's vice provost.

Oftentimes, Ferguson says, "They're using the technology that they will use in their field."

Webcam on computer monitor

(Westend61 | Getty Images)

Like on-campus courses, online courses may have exams , depending on the discipline. These may be proctored at a local testing center, or an actual human may monitor online students through their webcam. Companies such as ProctorU make this possible.

In other cases, students may take online exams while being monitored by a computer. Automated services including ProctorTrack can keep track of what's happening on an online student's screen in case there are behaviors that may indicate cheating.

Woman using laptop computer with wireless internet connection on kitchen table next to a pile of old books. Flowers on kitchen windowsill in background.

(Dr T J Martin | Getty Images)

Research Papers

Formal research papers, wrote Buffalo State's Fuster, remain common in online courses, as this type of writing is important in many disciplines, especially at the graduate level .

While there are few differences between these assignments for online and on-ground courses, online students should ensure their program offers remote access to a university's library and its resources, which may include live chats with staff, experts say.

Woman watching a film on a laptop

(golibo | Getty Images)

Case Studies and Real-World Scenarios

When it comes to case studies, a reading or video may provide detailed information about a specific situation related to the online course material, Fuster wrote. Students analyze the presented issues and develop solutions.

Real-world learning can also take other forms, says Brian Worden, manager of curriculum and course development for several schools at the for-profit Capella University . In online psychology degree programs, students may hold mock therapy sessions through videoconferencing. In the K-12 education online master's program , they create lesson plans and administer them to classmates.

assignment based

(Tetra Images | Getty Images)

These are particularly useful in online courses where students reflect on personal experiences, internships or clinical requirements , Fuster wrote. Generally, these are a running dialogue of a student's thoughts or ideas about a topic. They may update their blogs throughout the course, and in some cases, their classmates can respond.

The word wiki on cubes on a newspaper

(vertmedia | Getty Images)

These allow students to comment on and edit a shared document to write task lists, answer research questions, discuss personal experiences or launch discussions with classmates. They are particularly beneficial when it comes to group work, Fuster wrote.

"A blog, a wiki, even building out portfolios – we see a lot of those in communications, marketing and some of our business programs ," says Ferguson, of CSU—Global. "You may not see as much of that in accounting," for example, where students focus more on specific financial principles.

Business Woman Working Late At Home, stock photo

(Nalinratana Phiyanalinmat | EyeEm

A journal assignment allows an online student to communicate with his or her professor directly. While topics are sometimes assigned, journals often enable students to express ideas, concerns, opinions or questions about course material, Fuster wrote.

A young businessman working on his laptop in the office

(Yuri_Arcurs | Getty Images)

More About Online Education

Learn more about selecting an online degree program by checking out the U.S. News 2017 Best Online Programs rankings and exploring the Online Learning Lessons blog.

For more advice, follow U.S. News Education on Twitter and Facebook .

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Writing Assignments

Kate Derrington; Cristy Bartlett; and Sarah Irvine

Hands on laptop

Introduction

Assignments are a common method of assessment at university and require careful planning and good quality research. Developing critical thinking and writing skills are also necessary to demonstrate your ability to understand and apply information about your topic.  It is not uncommon to be unsure about the processes of writing assignments at university.

  • You may be returning to study after a break
  • You may have come from an exam based assessment system and never written an assignment before
  • Maybe you have written assignments but would like to improve your processes and strategies

This chapter has a collection of resources that will provide you with the skills and strategies to understand assignment requirements and effectively plan, research, write and edit your assignments.  It begins with an explanation of how to analyse an assignment task and start putting your ideas together.  It continues by breaking down the components of academic writing and exploring the elements you will need to master in your written assignments. This is followed by a discussion of paraphrasing and synthesis, and how you can use these strategies to create a strong, written argument. The chapter concludes with useful checklists for editing and proofreading to help you get the best possible mark for your work.

Task Analysis and Deconstructing an Assignment

It is important that before you begin researching and writing your assignments you spend sufficient time understanding all the requirements. This will help make your research process more efficient and effective. Check your subject information such as task sheets, criteria sheets and any additional information that may be in your subject portal online. Seek clarification from your lecturer or tutor if you are still unsure about how to begin your assignments.

The task sheet typically provides key information about an assessment including the assignment question. It can be helpful to scan this document for topic, task and limiting words to ensure that you fully understand the concepts you are required to research, how to approach the assignment, and the scope of the task you have been set. These words can typically be found in your assignment question and are outlined in more detail in the two tables below (see Table 19.1 and Table 19.2 ).

Table 19.1 Parts of an Assignment Question

Make sure you have a clear understanding of what the task word requires you to address.

Table 19.2 Task words

The criteria sheet , also known as the marking sheet or rubric, is another important document to look at before you begin your assignment. The criteria sheet outlines how your assignment will be marked and should be used as a checklist to make sure you have included all the information required.

The task or criteria sheet will also include the:

  • Word limit (or word count)
  • Referencing style and research expectations
  • Formatting requirements

Task analysis and criteria sheets are also discussed in the chapter Managing Assessments for a more detailed discussion on task analysis, criteria sheets, and marking rubrics.

Preparing your ideas

Concept map on whiteboard

Brainstorm or concept map:  List possible ideas to address each part of the assignment task based on what you already know about the topic from lectures and weekly readings.

Finding appropriate information: Learn how to find scholarly information for your assignments which is

See the chapter Working With Information for a more detailed explanation .

What is academic writing?

Academic writing tone and style.

Many of the assessment pieces you prepare will require an academic writing style.  This is sometimes called ‘academic tone’ or ‘academic voice’.  This section will help you to identify what is required when you are writing academically (see Table 19.3 ). The best way to understand what academic writing looks like, is to read broadly in your discipline area.  Look at how your course readings, or scholarly sources, are written. This will help you identify the language of your discipline field, as well as how other writers structure their work.

Table 19.3 Comparison of academic and non-academic writing

Thesis statements.

Essays are a common form of assessment that you will likely encounter during your university studies. You should apply an academic tone and style when writing an essay, just as you would in in your other assessment pieces. One of the most important steps in writing an essay is constructing your thesis statement.  A thesis statement tells the reader the purpose, argument or direction you will take to answer your assignment question. A thesis statement may not be relevant for some questions, if you are unsure check with your lecturer. The thesis statement:

  • Directly  relates to the task .  Your thesis statement may even contain some of the key words or synonyms from the task description.
  • Does more than restate the question.
  • Is specific and uses precise language.
  • Let’s your reader know your position or the main argument that you will support with evidence throughout your assignment.
  • The subject is the key content area you will be covering.
  • The contention is the position you are taking in relation to the chosen content.

Your thesis statement helps you to structure your essay.  It plays a part in each key section: introduction, body and conclusion.

Planning your assignment structure

Image of the numbers 231

When planning and drafting assignments, it is important to consider the structure of your writing. Academic writing should have clear and logical structure and incorporate academic research to support your ideas.  It can be hard to get started and at first you may feel nervous about the size of the task, this is normal. If you break your assignment into smaller pieces, it will seem more manageable as you can approach the task in sections. Refer to your brainstorm or plan. These ideas should guide your research and will also inform what you write in your draft. It is sometimes easier to draft your assignment using the 2-3-1 approach, that is, write the body paragraphs first followed by the conclusion and finally the introduction.

Writing introductions and conclusions

Clear and purposeful introductions and conclusions in assignments are fundamental to effective academic writing. Your introduction should tell the reader what is going to be covered and how you intend to approach this. Your conclusion should summarise your argument or discussion and signal to the reader that you have come to a conclusion with a final statement.  These tips below are based on the requirements usually needed for an essay assignment, however, they can be applied to other assignment types.

Writing introductions

Start written on road

Most writing at university will require a strong and logically structured introduction. An effective introduction should provide some background or context for your assignment, clearly state your thesis and include the key points you will cover in the body of the essay in order to prove your thesis.

Usually, your introduction is approximately 10% of your total assignment word count. It is much easier to write your introduction once you have drafted your body paragraphs and conclusion, as you know what your assignment is going to be about. An effective introduction needs to inform your reader by establishing what the paper is about and provide four basic things:

  • A brief background or overview of your assignment topic
  • A thesis statement (see section above)
  • An outline of your essay structure
  • An indication of any parameters or scope that will/ will not be covered, e.g. From an Australian perspective.

The below example demonstrates the four different elements of an introductory paragraph.

1) Information technology is having significant effects on the communication of individuals and organisations in different professions. 2) This essay will discuss the impact of information technology on the communication of health professionals.   3)  First, the provision of information technology for the educational needs of nurses will be discussed.  4)  This will be followed by an explanation of the significant effects that information technology can have on the role of general practitioner in the area of public health.  5)  Considerations will then be made regarding the lack of knowledge about the potential of computers among hospital administrators and nursing executives.  6)   The final section will explore how information technology assists health professionals in the delivery of services in rural areas .  7)  It will be argued that information technology has significant potential to improve health care and medical education, but health professionals are reluctant to use it.

1 Brief background/ overview | 2 Indicates the scope of what will be covered |   3-6 Outline of the main ideas (structure) | 7 The thesis statement

Note : The examples in this document are taken from the University of Canberra and used under a CC-BY-SA-3.0 licence.

Writing conclusions

You should aim to end your assignments with a strong conclusion. Your conclusion should restate your thesis and summarise the key points you have used to prove this thesis. Finish with a key point as a final impactful statement.  Similar to your introduction, your conclusion should be approximately 10% of the total assignment word length. If your assessment task asks you to make recommendations, you may need to allocate more words to the conclusion or add a separate recommendations section before the conclusion. Use the checklist below to check your conclusion is doing the right job.

Conclusion checklist 

  • Have you referred to the assignment question and restated your argument (or thesis statement), as outlined in the introduction?
  • Have you pulled together all the threads of your essay into a logical ending and given it a sense of unity?
  • Have you presented implications or recommendations in your conclusion? (if required by your task).
  • Have you added to the overall quality and impact of your essay? This is your final statement about this topic; thus, a key take-away point can make a great impact on the reader.
  • Remember, do not add any new material or direct quotes in your conclusion.

This below example demonstrates the different elements of a concluding paragraph.

1) It is evident, therefore, that not only do employees need to be trained for working in the Australian multicultural workplace, but managers also need to be trained.  2)  Managers must ensure that effective in-house training programs are provided for migrant workers, so that they become more familiar with the English language, Australian communication norms and the Australian work culture.  3)  In addition, Australian native English speakers need to be made aware of the differing cultural values of their workmates; particularly the different forms of non-verbal communication used by other cultures.  4)  Furthermore, all employees must be provided with clear and detailed guidelines about company expectations.  5)  Above all, in order to minimise communication problems and to maintain an atmosphere of tolerance, understanding and cooperation in the multicultural workplace, managers need to have an effective knowledge about their employees. This will help employers understand how their employee’s social conditioning affects their beliefs about work. It will develop their communication skills to develop confidence and self-esteem among diverse work groups. 6) The culturally diverse Australian workplace may never be completely free of communication problems, however,   further studies to identify potential problems and solutions, as well as better training in cross cultural communication for managers and employees,   should result in a much more understanding and cooperative environment. 

1  Reference to thesis statement – In this essay the writer has taken the position that training is required for both employees and employers . | 2-5 Structure overview – Here the writer pulls together the main ideas in the essay. | 6  Final summary statement that is based on the evidence.

Note: The examples in this document are taken from the University of Canberra and used under a CC-BY-SA-3.0 licence.

Writing paragraphs

Paragraph writing is a key skill that enables you to incorporate your academic research into your written work.  Each paragraph should have its own clearly identified topic sentence or main idea which relates to the argument or point (thesis) you are developing.  This idea should then be explained by additional sentences which you have paraphrased from good quality sources and referenced according to the recommended guidelines of your subject (see the chapter Working with Information ). Paragraphs are characterised by increasing specificity; that is, they move from the general to the specific, increasingly refining the reader’s understanding. A common structure for paragraphs in academic writing is as follows.

Topic Sentence 

This is the main idea of the paragraph and should relate to the overall issue or purpose of your assignment is addressing. Often it will be expressed as an assertion or claim which supports the overall argument or purpose of your writing.

Explanation/ Elaboration

The main idea must have its meaning explained and elaborated upon. Think critically, do not just describe the idea.

These explanations must include evidence to support your main idea. This information should be paraphrased and referenced according to the appropriate referencing style of your course.

Concluding sentence (critical thinking)

This should explain why the topic of the paragraph is relevant to the assignment question and link to the following paragraph.

Use the checklist below to check your paragraphs are clear and well formed.

Paragraph checklist

  • Does your paragraph have a clear main idea?
  • Is everything in the paragraph related to this main idea?
  • Is the main idea adequately developed and explained?
  • Do your sentences run together smoothly?
  • Have you included evidence to support your ideas?
  • Have you concluded the paragraph by connecting it to your overall topic?

Writing sentences

Make sure all the sentences in your paragraphs make sense. Each sentence must contain a verb to be a complete sentence. Avoid sentence fragments . These are incomplete sentences or ideas that are unfinished and create confusion for your reader. Avoid also run on sentences . This happens when you join two ideas or clauses without using the appropriate punctuation. This also confuses your meaning (See the chapter English Language Foundations for examples and further explanation).

Use transitions (linking words and phrases) to connect your ideas between paragraphs and make your writing flow. The order that you structure the ideas in your assignment should reflect the structure you have outlined in your introduction. Refer to transition words table in the chapter English Language Foundations.

Paraphrasing and Synthesising

Paraphrasing and synthesising are powerful tools that you can use to support the main idea of a paragraph. It is likely that you will regularly use these skills at university to incorporate evidence into explanatory sentences and strengthen your essay. It is important to paraphrase and synthesise because:

  • Paraphrasing is regarded more highly at university than direct quoting.
  • Paraphrasing can also help you better understand the material.
  • Paraphrasing and synthesising demonstrate you have understood what you have read through your ability to summarise and combine arguments from the literature using your own words.

What is paraphrasing?

Paraphrasing is changing the writing of another author into your words while retaining the original meaning. You must acknowledge the original author as the source of the information in your citation. Follow the steps in this table to help you build your skills in paraphrasing (see Table 19.4 ).

Table 19.4 Paraphrasing techniques

Example of paraphrasing.

Please note that these examples and in text citations are for instructional purposes only.

Original text

Health care professionals   assist people often when they are at their most  vulnerable . To provide the best care and understand their needs, workers must demonstrate good communication skills .  They must develop patient trust and provide empathy   to effectively work with patients who are experiencing a variety of situations including those who may be suffering from trauma or violence, physical or mental illness or substance abuse (French & Saunders, 2018).

Poor quality paraphrase example

This is a poor example of paraphrasing. Some synonyms have been used and the order of a few words changed within the sentences however the colours of the sentences indicate that the paragraph follows the same structure as the original text.

Health care sector workers are often responsible for vulnerable  patients.   To understand patients and deliver good service , they need to be excellent communicators .  They must establish patient rapport and show empathy if they are to successfully care for patients from a variety of backgrounds  and with different medical, psychological and social needs (French & Saunders, 2018).

A good quality paraphrase example

This example demonstrates a better quality paraphrase. The author has demonstrated more understanding of the overall concept in the text by using the keywords as the basis to reconstruct the paragraph. Note how the blocks of colour have been broken up to see how much the structure has changed from the original text.

Empathetic   communication is a vital skill for health care workers.   Professionals in these fields   are often responsible for patients with complex medical, psychological and social needs. Empathetic   communication assists in building rapport and gaining the necessary trust   to assist these vulnerable patients  by providing appropriate supportive care (French & Saunders, 2018).

The good quality paraphrase example demonstrates understanding of the overall concept in the text by using key words as the basis to reconstruct the paragraph.  Note how the blocks of colour have been broken up, which indicates how much the structure has changed from the original text.

What is synthesising?

Synthesising means to bring together more than one source of information to strengthen your argument. Once you have learnt how to paraphrase the ideas of one source at a time, you can consider adding additional sources to support your argument. Synthesis demonstrates your understanding and ability to show connections between multiple pieces of evidence to support your ideas and is a more advanced academic thinking and writing skill.

Follow the steps in this table to improve your synthesis techniques (see Table 19.5 ).

Table 19.5 Synthesising techniques

Example of synthesis

There is a relationship between academic procrastination and mental health outcomes.  Procrastination has been found to have a negative effect on students’ well-being (Balkis, & Duru, 2016). Yerdelen, McCaffrey, and Klassens’ (2016) research results suggested that there was a positive association between procrastination and anxiety. This was corroborated by Custer’s (2018) findings which indicated that students with higher levels of procrastination also reported greater levels of the anxiety. Therefore, it could be argued that procrastination is an ineffective learning strategy that leads to increased levels of distress.

Topic sentence | Statements using paraphrased evidence | Critical thinking (student voice) | Concluding statement – linking to topic sentence

This example demonstrates a simple synthesis. The author has developed a paragraph with one central theme and included explanatory sentences complete with in-text citations from multiple sources. Note how the blocks of colour have been used to illustrate the paragraph structure and synthesis (i.e., statements using paraphrased evidence from several sources). A more complex synthesis may include more than one citation per sentence.

Creating an argument

What does this mean.

Throughout your university studies, you may be asked to ‘argue’ a particular point or position in your writing. You may already be familiar with the idea of an argument, which in general terms means to have a disagreement with someone. Similarly, in academic writing, if you are asked to create an argument, this means you are asked to have a position on a particular topic, and then justify your position using evidence.

What skills do you need to create an argument?

In order to create a good and effective argument, you need to be able to:

  • Read critically to find evidence
  • Plan your argument
  • Think and write critically throughout your paper to enhance your argument

For tips on how to read and write critically, refer to the chapter Thinking for more information. A formula for developing a strong argument is presented below.

A formula for a good argument

A diagram on the formula for a ggood argument which includes deciding what side of argument you are on, research evidence to support your argument, create a plan to create a logically flowing argument and writing your argument

What does an argument look like?

As can be seen from the figure above, including evidence is a key element of a good argument. While this may seem like a straightforward task, it can be difficult to think of wording to express your argument. The table below provides examples of how you can illustrate your argument in academic writing (see Table 19.6 ).

Table 19.6 Argument

Editing and proofreading (reviewing).

Once you have finished writing your first draft it is recommended that you spend time revising your work.  Proofreading and editing are two different stages of the revision process.

  • Editing considers the overall focus or bigger picture of the assignment
  • Proofreading considers the finer details

Editing mindmap with the words sources, content,s tructure and style. Proofreading mindmap with the words referencing, word choice, grammar and spelling and punctuation

As can be seen in the figure above there are four main areas that you should review during the editing phase of the revision process. The main things to consider when editing include content, structure, style, and sources. It is important to check that all the content relates to the assignment task, the structure is appropriate for the purposes of the assignment, the writing is academic in style, and that sources have been adequately acknowledged. Use the checklist below when editing your work.

Editing checklist

  • Have I answered the question accurately?
  • Do I have enough credible, scholarly supporting evidence?
  • Is my writing tone objective and formal enough or have I used emotive and informal language?
  • Have I written in the third person not the first person?
  • Do I have appropriate in-text citations for all my information?
  • Have I included the full details for all my in-text citations in my reference list?

There are also several key things to look out for during the proofreading phase of the revision process. In this stage it is important to check your work for word choice, grammar and spelling, punctuation and referencing errors. It can be easy to mis-type words like ‘from’ and ‘form’ or mix up words like ‘trail’ and ‘trial’ when writing about research, apply American rather than Australian spelling, include unnecessary commas or incorrectly format your references list. The checklist below is a useful guide that you can use when proofreading your work.

Proofreading checklist

  • Is my spelling and grammar accurate?
  •  Are they complete?
  • Do they all make sense?
  • Do they only contain only one idea?
  • Do the different elements (subject, verb, nouns, pronouns) within my sentences agree?
  • Are my sentences too long and complicated?
  • Do they contain only one idea per sentence?
  • Is my writing concise? Take out words that do not add meaning to your sentences.
  • Have I used appropriate discipline specific language but avoided words I don’t know or understand that could possibly be out of context?
  • Have I avoided discriminatory language and colloquial expressions (slang)?
  • Is my referencing formatted correctly according to my assignment guidelines? (for more information on referencing refer to the Managing Assessment feedback section).

This chapter has examined the experience of writing assignments.  It began by focusing on how to read and break down an assignment question, then highlighted the key components of essays. Next, it examined some techniques for paraphrasing and summarising, and how to build an argument. It concluded with a discussion on planning and structuring your assignment and giving it that essential polish with editing and proof-reading. Combining these skills and practising them, can greatly improve your success with this very common form of assessment.

  • Academic writing requires clear and logical structure, critical thinking and the use of credible scholarly sources.
  • A thesis statement is important as it tells the reader the position or argument you have adopted in your assignment. Not all assignments will require a thesis statement.
  • Spending time analysing your task and planning your structure before you start to write your assignment is time well spent.
  • Information you use in your assignment should come from credible scholarly sources such as textbooks and peer reviewed journals. This information needs to be paraphrased and referenced appropriately.
  • Paraphrasing means putting something into your own words and synthesising means to bring together several ideas from sources.
  • Creating an argument is a four step process and can be applied to all types of academic writing.
  • Editing and proofreading are two separate processes.

Academic Skills Centre. (2013). Writing an introduction and conclusion . University of Canberra, accessed 13 August, 2013, http://www.canberra.edu.au/studyskills/writing/conclusions

Balkis, M., & Duru, E. (2016). Procrastination, self-regulation failure, academic life satisfaction, and affective well-being: underregulation or misregulation form. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 31 (3), 439-459.

Custer, N. (2018). Test anxiety and academic procrastination among prelicensure nursing students. Nursing education perspectives, 39 (3), 162-163.

Yerdelen, S., McCaffrey, A., & Klassen, R. M. (2016). Longitudinal examination of procrastination and anxiety, and their relation to self-efficacy for self-regulated learning: Latent growth curve modeling. Educational Sciences: Theory & Practice, 16 (1).

Writing Assignments Copyright © 2021 by Kate Derrington; Cristy Bartlett; and Sarah Irvine is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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Alignment of your assessments and learning objectives

hands reaching out to type on a tablet keyboard

How this will help

When designing about the activities and assessments your students complete, both for practicing new skills and to demonstrate what they’ve learned, make sure that those activities map directly to your learning objectives. The verbs you used in your learning objectives are clues as to what kinds of assessments will tell you, and your learners, whether students have met those objectives.

When you worked on writing learning objectives for your course, you identified what your students would know, be able to do, and feel at the end of the course. This approach to course design, where you start by describing your learners at the end of the course and move back from there to design other course elements, is called backward design. The most popular approach to backward design was developed by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe in their book, “Understanding by Design.” Another approach to backward design has been described by L. Dee Fink in “Creating Significant Learning Experiences: An Integrated Approach to Designing College Courses.” Both of these approaches, as well as other backward design models, share three key elements, all of which need to be aligned with one another : 

  • Learner centered objectives for the learning experience
  • Assessments that demonstrate student learning, and 
  • Teaching strategies to prepare learners for their assessments.

What does alignment in a course look like? 

Backward design is often called a student-centric approach to course design, and one of the best ways to describe a well aligned course is to show what the learning experience looks like from the perspective of a learner. For this depiction, let’s call our learner “Jaime.”

On the first day of the course, Jaime receives a copy of the course syllabus that has clearly articulated learning objectives, which help Jaime picture where they are headed and what objectives they should shoot for. The learning objectives include verbs like, “define,”  “compare and contrast,” “develop a plan,” and “critique.” 

Of course, Jaime is very curious about what kinds of assignments and tests they will have to complete in the course. When they look at the assignment list, they discover that the course has a few quizzes, two relatively short essays, a major project where they have to develop a plan for how a professional might approach a relevant challenge from the field, and another assignment to critique the plans developed by their classmates.

As the semester progresses, Jaime gets the chance to practice some of the skills described in the learning objectives. They have the opportunity to write drafts of their essays and get feedback before submitting the final draft for a grade. The quizzes the professor gives focus on ensuring the students understand the foundational concepts of the course: defining key terms, matching traits of different theories to the appropriate theory. The big project for the course, developing a project plan, has been broken down into its component parts so that there is a scaffold for Jaime and their classmates to build up to such a high-level task.

In short, a well-aligned course gives learners:

  • A clear destination for their learning 
  • Opportunities to practice all of the skills they will have to demonstrate in high stakes assignments
  • Feedback during those practice opportunities so that they have the opportunity to learn from their mistakes prior to being assessed on their learning in a high stakes assignment

One tool that instructors can use to make sure their course is well-aligned is an alignment matrix. In an alignment matrix, the instructor lists each assignment and assessment that links to each learning objective. One example of a spreadsheet designed to help instructors structure their course design is the Fall Blueprint Planning Guide . The tab focused on Activities and Assessments is an alignment matrix that can help you put your course content, activities and assessments in context of both the course learning objectives and the point in the semester/course when students will be practicing and demonstrating skills and knowledge.

Practical tips

  • When writing your learning objectives, make sure to use active verbs. When you can clearly describe what students need to do to demonstrate their learning, you are more than half way to designing the aligned assessment(s).
  • Using a Bloom’s Taxonomy wheel (like this example from Dr. Ashley Tan ) can help instructors generate ideas for different assignments based on the level of knowledge or skill the learning objective is aiming for.

Other Resources

Dee Fink & Associates – A Working, Self-Study Guide to Designing Courses for Significant Learning  

Fink, L. D. (2013). Creating significant learning experiences, revised and updated: an integrated approach to designing college courses . San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Wiggins, G. P., & McTighe, J. (2008). Understanding by design . Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

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Meaning of assignment in English

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  • It was a jammy assignment - more of a holiday really.
  • He took this award-winning photograph while on assignment in the Middle East .
  • His two-year assignment to the Mexico office starts in September .
  • She first visited Norway on assignment for the winter Olympics ten years ago.
  • He fell in love with the area after being there on assignment for National Geographic in the 1950s.
  • act as something
  • all work and no play (makes Jack a dull boy) idiom
  • be at work idiom
  • be in work idiom
  • housekeeping
  • in the line of duty idiom
  • undertaking

You can also find related words, phrases, and synonyms in the topics:

assignment | American Dictionary

Assignment | business english, examples of assignment, collocations with assignment.

These are words often used in combination with assignment .

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Translations of assignment

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give someone a leg up

to help someone to climb over something

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Eberly Center

Teaching excellence & educational innovation, creating assignments.

Here are some general suggestions and questions to consider when creating assignments. There are also many other resources in print and on the web that provide examples of interesting, discipline-specific assignment ideas.

Consider your learning objectives.

What do you want students to learn in your course? What could they do that would show you that they have learned it? To determine assignments that truly serve your course objectives, it is useful to write out your objectives in this form: I want my students to be able to ____. Use active, measurable verbs as you complete that sentence (e.g., compare theories, discuss ramifications, recommend strategies), and your learning objectives will point you towards suitable assignments.

Design assignments that are interesting and challenging.

This is the fun side of assignment design. Consider how to focus students’ thinking in ways that are creative, challenging, and motivating. Think beyond the conventional assignment type! For example, one American historian requires students to write diary entries for a hypothetical Nebraska farmwoman in the 1890s. By specifying that students’ diary entries must demonstrate the breadth of their historical knowledge (e.g., gender, economics, technology, diet, family structure), the instructor gets students to exercise their imaginations while also accomplishing the learning objectives of the course (Walvoord & Anderson, 1989, p. 25).

Double-check alignment.

After creating your assignments, go back to your learning objectives and make sure there is still a good match between what you want students to learn and what you are asking them to do. If you find a mismatch, you will need to adjust either the assignments or the learning objectives. For instance, if your goal is for students to be able to analyze and evaluate texts, but your assignments only ask them to summarize texts, you would need to add an analytical and evaluative dimension to some assignments or rethink your learning objectives.

Name assignments accurately.

Students can be misled by assignments that are named inappropriately. For example, if you want students to analyze a product’s strengths and weaknesses but you call the assignment a “product description,” students may focus all their energies on the descriptive, not the critical, elements of the task. Thus, it is important to ensure that the titles of your assignments communicate their intention accurately to students.

Consider sequencing.

Think about how to order your assignments so that they build skills in a logical sequence. Ideally, assignments that require the most synthesis of skills and knowledge should come later in the semester, preceded by smaller assignments that build these skills incrementally. For example, if an instructor’s final assignment is a research project that requires students to evaluate a technological solution to an environmental problem, earlier assignments should reinforce component skills, including the ability to identify and discuss key environmental issues, apply evaluative criteria, and find appropriate research sources.

Think about scheduling.

Consider your intended assignments in relation to the academic calendar and decide how they can be reasonably spaced throughout the semester, taking into account holidays and key campus events. Consider how long it will take students to complete all parts of the assignment (e.g., planning, library research, reading, coordinating groups, writing, integrating the contributions of team members, developing a presentation), and be sure to allow sufficient time between assignments.

Check feasibility.

Is the workload you have in mind reasonable for your students? Is the grading burden manageable for you? Sometimes there are ways to reduce workload (whether for you or for students) without compromising learning objectives. For example, if a primary objective in assigning a project is for students to identify an interesting engineering problem and do some preliminary research on it, it might be reasonable to require students to submit a project proposal and annotated bibliography rather than a fully developed report. If your learning objectives are clear, you will see where corners can be cut without sacrificing educational quality.

Articulate the task description clearly.

If an assignment is vague, students may interpret it any number of ways – and not necessarily how you intended. Thus, it is critical to clearly and unambiguously identify the task students are to do (e.g., design a website to help high school students locate environmental resources, create an annotated bibliography of readings on apartheid). It can be helpful to differentiate the central task (what students are supposed to produce) from other advice and information you provide in your assignment description.

Establish clear performance criteria.

Different instructors apply different criteria when grading student work, so it’s important that you clearly articulate to students what your criteria are. To do so, think about the best student work you have seen on similar tasks and try to identify the specific characteristics that made it excellent, such as clarity of thought, originality, logical organization, or use of a wide range of sources. Then identify the characteristics of the worst student work you have seen, such as shaky evidence, weak organizational structure, or lack of focus. Identifying these characteristics can help you consciously articulate the criteria you already apply. It is important to communicate these criteria to students, whether in your assignment description or as a separate rubric or scoring guide . Clearly articulated performance criteria can prevent unnecessary confusion about your expectations while also setting a high standard for students to meet.

Specify the intended audience.

Students make assumptions about the audience they are addressing in papers and presentations, which influences how they pitch their message. For example, students may assume that, since the instructor is their primary audience, they do not need to define discipline-specific terms or concepts. These assumptions may not match the instructor’s expectations. Thus, it is important on assignments to specify the intended audience http://wac.colostate.edu/intro/pop10e.cfm (e.g., undergraduates with no biology background, a potential funder who does not know engineering).

Specify the purpose of the assignment.

If students are unclear about the goals or purpose of the assignment, they may make unnecessary mistakes. For example, if students believe an assignment is focused on summarizing research as opposed to evaluating it, they may seriously miscalculate the task and put their energies in the wrong place. The same is true they think the goal of an economics problem set is to find the correct answer, rather than demonstrate a clear chain of economic reasoning. Consequently, it is important to make your objectives for the assignment clear to students.

Specify the parameters.

If you have specific parameters in mind for the assignment (e.g., length, size, formatting, citation conventions) you should be sure to specify them in your assignment description. Otherwise, students may misapply conventions and formats they learned in other courses that are not appropriate for yours.

A Checklist for Designing Assignments

Here is a set of questions you can ask yourself when creating an assignment.

  • Provided a written description of the assignment (in the syllabus or in a separate document)?
  • Specified the purpose of the assignment?
  • Indicated the intended audience?
  • Articulated the instructions in precise and unambiguous language?
  • Provided information about the appropriate format and presentation (e.g., page length, typed, cover sheet, bibliography)?  
  • Indicated special instructions, such as a particular citation style or headings?  
  • Specified the due date and the consequences for missing it?
  • Articulated performance criteria clearly?
  • Indicated the assignment’s point value or percentage of the course grade?
  • Provided students (where appropriate) with models or samples?

Adapted from the WAC Clearinghouse at http://wac.colostate.edu/intro/pop10e.cfm .

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Step-by-step Guide to Create Competency-Based Assignments as an Alternative for Traditional Summative Assessment

Hebat allah amin.

1 Helwan University

Mohamed H. K. Shehata

2 Department of Family and Community Medicine

Samar A. Ahmed

3 ASU-MENA-FRI-Ain Shams University

This article was migrated. The article was marked as recommended.

The sudden, prolonged COVID-19 lockdown has offered a great challenge to the medical school. This was not only at the level of learning and curricular design but also the level of assessment. The traditional summative assessment tools have collapsed during this Pandemic.

Herein, we provide a five-step guide for designing competency-based E-assignments for summative assessment. Innovative assignments designs are crucially required for fair summative assessment of the medical students, mainly in the pre-clerkship phase. These need to be innovative, engaging, competency-based, well-designed, with defined rubrics, integrated, and interdisciplinary whenever possible.

These should also enforce the concepts of self-assessment and student peer assessment. Including the students in the formulation and design enhances their self-motivation where there is no face-to-face education. Designing an assignment with a quality product as an outcome increases the students’ enthusiasm and self-confidence. A brief case-study is included as an example.

Teaching after the pandemic era will greatly change with inevitable changes in the dogmatic concepts. Formative and summative assessments are probably changing seats which might be sustained for some time post-COVID-19.

Introduction

There is a generally acknowledged concept that assessment drives learning. This mandate acquiring a new vision for creating assessment tools to meet the shift of the medical curricula to integrated, competency-based learning ( Sohrmann et al. , 2020 ).

Competency-based medical education (CBME), requires an innovative integrated assessment tool. CBME assessment necessitates continuous, criterion-based, work-based strategies. “Best practices” should be highlighted and encouraged. CBME assessment should enhance life-long learning as the expertise is the goal, not merely the competence ( Holmboe et al. , 2010 ).

The new assessment strategy should be tailored in tandem with the development of the new curricula. This could be achieved by strategic planning, including the educators, administrators, and the student to formulate a structured plan for the assignment design ( Ferris, 2015 ).

A well-designed assignment can guide students through engaging deep learning experiences and divert their attention from grades towards creativity and critical thinking ( Liu and Carless, 2006 ). Both summative and formative assessment methods are useful when applied in the correct setting and at an appropriate stage of learning. Online problem-based learning techniques have proved to be incredibly popular ( Ahmed et al., 2020 ).

Novel assessment methods including self and peer assessment strategies enhance students’ engagement and self-motivation. Besides, it promotes developing their critical thinking skills ( Bloxham and West, 2004 ).

As a result of the COVID-19 lockdown, the Egyptian Ministry of Higher education mandates that medical school should consider student assignments as an alternative for summative assessment for all students in the pre-clerkship phase. This article tries to put a general stepwise approach to plan such assignments where formative and summative assessments are probably changing seats which might be sustained for some time post-COVID-19.

Steps of conducting a competency-based integrated assignment

Step one: position your assignment in the curriculum, identify competency/ competencies to assess.

When starting to consider designing an assignment as alternatives for summative assessment object in the curriculum it is advised to take a step back and look to the bigger picture. Revise your national/school’s competency framework program competencies and identify the competencies you will be testing ( Humphrey-Murto et al., 2017 ). Consider your school’s educational strategy. Assignment in a school that adopts a clinical presentation curriculum would be different from assignments in a school that adopts problem-based learning for example. One more important aspect to consider is the availability of inter-disciplinary cooperation with other institutes, schools, or bodies as this will provide the designed assignments with a new dimension. It is important to have clear objectives for the designed assignments as clearly articulated learning goals and objectives are an important part of any learning activity (Gagne et al. 1992; Al-Eraky, 2012).

E-assignments provide an excellent opportunity to encourage students to collaborate together to achieve projects that will help them develop some competencies that are not-uncommonly ignored or minimized during traditional teaching where different departments usually compete for a space in the teaching schedule in integrated medical schools.

List basic skills required to be incorporated in the assignment

Place the expected skills to be tested on a comprehensive list. Consider each skill independently and ensure that this is consistent with your complex assessment system considering summative as well as developmental assessments. The electronic assignments triangulate with other methods of assessment and will probably add to the validity, reliability, and most importantly the educational impact of your assessment system. To achieve this, planners might need to map new skills on their assessment blueprint.

Revise each skill and align with the competency selected

The skills are aligned to the competencies -The graduate as a health care provider, health care promoter, professional, scholar and scientist, member of the health team, and a part of the lifelong learner and researcher- through mapping a program matrix.

Step two: Design

Designing an assignment through a holistic visionary strategy can magnify the outcomes. Apply the steps of strategic planning through clarifying the vision, needs assessment, formulation of the assignment/project, implementation, followed by evaluation of the process, and correction actions. This should be established throughout the following steps:

Form a team

A team representing relevant departments with student’s representation will probably come out with a design that is more applicable and acceptable to various stakeholders.

Review of literature

After coming up with initial ideas for assignments’ formats, team members might need to look for similar ideas that were implemented in other medical education institutes to learn from the published experience of other educators.

Allow sub-teams to brainstorm possible formats of assignments creatively. In this initial planning phase, team members should adhere to the Problem-solving process and avoid criticizing the first versions of ideas. In brainstorming several decisions are made and many questions are raised

1. Decisions

Degree of integration.

Integrative Learning is an approach to education that highlights the importance of addressing real-world issues relevant to students’ life experiences and interests. Hence, Integrative assignments focus on:

  • • The utilization of multiple modes of inquiry and multiple venues of knowledge
  • • The application of theory to practice employing interdisciplinary diverse perspectives
  • • The contextualization of students’ personal experiences in larger societal and global patterns
  • • We believe that Integrative Learning is essential for students’ success, self, and social responsibility and civic engagement in a rapidly changing and connecting the world ( Sites.google.com , 2020).

The format of the assignment should be discussed whether it will be a web-based assignment or a paper form one.

Tools available for executing the assignment should be discussed. It is advised to reflect on the value of the choice of the tools and whether it feeds into the competencies assessed through the assignment. If this is not the case, then the tools used are better left to the student creativity. This will allow a degree of freedom for the students to take ownership of the process and the outcome.

Group/individual

Well-designed group assignments with clear, defined, individual roles could be fairly assessed in addition to covering the competency area of teamwork. When considering group-assignments it is important to identify the role of every individual in the team. Possible roles in a group could also be the role of a peer mentor identified from a previous batch to help align the work of the students towards the objective.

The basic aim is to have a fair and valid effective assessment tool. However, designing the assignment to be engaging and usable magnifies the expected outcomes. The purpose of the assignment and its contribution to the hidden aspect of the curriculum should be discussed elaborately in the brainstorming phase. This will later reflect on all decisions made regarding tools, context, format, etc. This will also reflect on the degree of flexibility the students are given in the assignment.

Type of assignment

Based on their purpose, assignments designed within a competency-based framework can add value to the learning experience of students. As the team designs the assignments, it is valuable to consider the level of the assignment. Whether they will be only at the summarization level or be at higher levels such as simplification and delivery of information. Whether the assignments include only medical students or provide them with the opportunity to work with a multidisciplinary team is another point to consider. The drive-in this stage will be the usability of the assignments which would be a major motivator for students and staff to create and innovate. In the following diagram ( Figure 1 ), a model suggested by the authors that describe various levels and examples of E-assignments that can be used.

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2. Questions

It is important to spend some time deliberating on a few questions to reflect on the decisions of design. A guide to these questions is offered below.

Is the format relevant to the student’s professional future?

The assignment should respect the required competencies and poses an integrated vision between the different disciplines. The context in which the assignment is delivered is an important part of the learning. Creating assignments that respect the future profession, creates better student engagement and reflects later on their life-long learning skills. Students identify learning goals easier when the assignment represents their future profession. An example of this in medical curricula could be assignments that require the student to mimic a doctor-patient encounter in a video format.

Is the requirement comparable to the grades/ stake?

The time the student is requested to spend on the assignment should be weighed against the grade assigned to the task or the stake associated with it. An example of this is the time allocated for summative assessment assignments and the degree of complexity associated with it. When assignments are used for differentiating purposes, it is expected that the time the student dedicates for the assignment and the degree of assignment complexity is high.

When learners are encountering a complex topic or if they are unfamiliar with a genre or learning format, provide less material, easier tasks, or more time to complete the assignment. Similarly, learners will be able to cover less material on their own than can be covered in more didactic and interactive sessions like lectures. Independent learning assignments may require more time or less material than typically allotted to a lecture or cover less material than if the same topic were to be covered in a lecture ( Rachul et al . 2020 ).

Is there an output/product?

A usable quality product enhances students’ engagement and enthusiasm. Being participants in the formulation of vision magnifies the expected outcome.

How can we make the output usable and sustainable?

This could be achieved through having a holistic vision with a clear, challenging, yet applicable goal. To ensure that the assignment product is usable make sure it results in bridging an already existing gap. This can be attained by visiting the course report from previous years and the results of student feedback to identify learning gaps and gaps in resources. When these have been identified they can be then designed into a needed resource list. Given these resources are generated from actual learning gaps they will later be usable for future instruction.

To keep the outcomes and products usable and sustainable, it is recommended that they are hosted on a visible portal where students themselves take the quest to ensure they are publicized to others. Using YouTube where other students can log in their feedback and questions in the future will be very useful as well as using the existing blackboard to host the material for future student reference.

Is the requirement quantifiable/measurable?

The clear quantifiable requirement ensures a fair assessment tool.

Is there a degree of individuality in the task to protect from designed-in plagiarism?

Balancing out assignments to ensure that different teams are subsequently engaged in the design process is extremely important to ensure the reliability of the process as an alternative for conventional assessment. In our experience when students are asked to design a product, it is an important step to enhance student creativity and thus ensure that students exert the required effort.

Another important step to designing the assignment to prevent plagiarism is to make sure that products of assignments are published after peer review. This means that assignments that produce written content are directed to journal publications and those that produce video content are directed to YouTube publishing. This makes products visible rather than having products of assignments seen solely for teacher evaluation.

What are the elements of the product? Can it be broken down?

Designing an integrated, multidisciplinary assignment through a holistic vision can create an enthusiastic project with main and subsidiary outputs. These outputs can include the production of quality educational material adding value to the curricular content. These can also include awareness sessions or videos serving the community inside the campus and even the larger community. Involvement in scholarly research work documenting the educational practices.

Break down these outputs into specific elements. Map each element on the first column of the matrix against the skills listed. Map the elements to make sure that the desired tested skills are covered by the output elements. This stage is where assignments can be tweaked to add or remove elements.

An example of these elements is the elements needed to produce an educational video. These can be dissected in several ways but for example one of the elements would be the scientific content. Another element can be the video scenario and a third can be graphic design. Each of these elements should be mapped against the listed skills we are testing. If you cannot map it to a specific skill, then most probably it lies beyond the skill set needed to be assessed and so it becomes a potential area for support from teachers to their students during the assignment ( Figure 2 ).

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Does it serve the social responsibility of the school?

Once the desired output is described evaluate this output in terms of its utility and its weight in social responsibility if the schools. Rate the projected product against its added value. Whenever the output can be identified as an asset or a product of extended value to others it is better.

Design Assignment instructions

Design written procedures that are simple and clear for the expected steps that organize implementation timeframe, team relationships, and advised steps.

Make sure the instructions are:

  • • Concise

Assignment Instructions should ideally be no more than one A4 paper long ( Rachul et al. 2020 ). Assignment instructions that are long cause students to feel overwhelmed and potion the assignment as a single response activity and encourage student plagiarism

  • • Detailed

Research has shown that the more detailed a writing assignment is, the better the student papers are in response to that assignment. Instructors can often help students write more effective papers by giving students written instructions about that assignment. Explicit descriptions of assignments on the syllabus or an “assignment sheet” tend to produce the best results. These instructions might make explicit the process or steps necessary to complete the assignment. Assignment sheets should detail:

  • • Purpose

Discuss the purpose of the assignment. Learners benefit from not just knowing what they are required to learn but also knowing why they are required to learn such knowledge, skills, or attitudes. Providing the context for an assignment will highlight its relevance in the course or program, but also its relevance for future clinical practice ( Emig, 1977 ).

Summary of the assignment explaining the overall task

The learning objectives to which the assignment ties back so students understand how the assignment fits into the course and their learning.

  • • How this assignment benefits student learning in terms of the course, their program, or their careers.
  • • Any assignments to which this assignment ties back or any assignments that will build off this assignment ( Marian.instructure.com , 2020)
  • • The kind of writing expected
  • • The scope of acceptable subject matter
  • • Length requirements
  • • Formatting requirements
  • • Documentation format
  • • The amount and type of research expected (if any)
  • • The responder’s role
  • • Deadlines for the first draft and its revision
  • • Providing questions or needed data in the assignment helps students get started. For instance, some questions can suggest a mode of organization to the students. Other questions might suggest a procedure to follow. The questions posed should require that students assert a thesis ( Cmsw.mit.edu, 2020 )
  • • Add any reference the students will need to refer to: This should be related to the program specifications and preferably selected from faculty-approved references. The selection of specific and limited references helps the students easily reach their target goals. Make a clear point that allows for student independent search for references.
  • • Includes examples for clarification: Providing templates and the delivery of a demo presentation or video improves the quality of the output. Moreover, it unifies the output format.
  • • Includes information on who to contact for questions and detailed contact information. Adding contact information for students at the end of the assignment or an email to direct questions to gives students a sense of security and an opportunity to reach out for clarifications. The faculty assigned to answering student questions should be fully aware of the required assignment and the grading criteria. Consider holding a faculty orientation session before assigning student assignments to them.

Make sure the assignment is read by any of your colleagues. Examine the assignment with reference to understandability, feasibility, logic. Revise the instructions to affirm that students are given enough space for creativity.

Plan an assessment guide

An assessment guide is a very important document for faculty to assess the student’s work. This document is an outline document that is attached to the assignment instruction document. This document is of maximum importance to ensure the reliability of the assessment tool.

Design Rubrics

Design a set of rubrics for each skill to be assessed. In the case of differentiating summative exams. Design multilevel achievement rubrics for each skill. In each level describe the level of achievement in measurable details.

Train faculty assessors

Make sure you train faculty on the use of rubrics in assessing process and output. Faculty who are using rubrics for the first time will need to be trained in a hands-on setting with mock assignments.

Step three: Implementation

The role of mentorship is irreplaceable for multiple reasons. Mentors do not only coach students to achieve the outcomes of the assignment but also provides the required context/structure for the work, monitor the timely achievement of assignment milestones and offer a role model to students in the means of teamwork, giving and receiving feedback as well as communication. Having a trained mentor will add value to the overall outcomes of the E-assignment and help students to develop professionalism attributes. Another tip might be adding two faculty members to mentor each group of students to support each other and provide more accessibility to students when they need advice.

Role of Faculty

The role of faculty during implementation is listed in Table 1 .

Role of student

The role of the student during implementation is listed in Table 2 .

Step four: Assessment

Faculty approach assessment with a complete focus on two areas, both done in the rubric-guided process to ensure reliability.

Process assessment

Since faculty have been engaged throughout the planning and execution phase, they are capable of assessing the process that they witnessed and were a part of. Items to be assessed in the process include quality of the execution plan and student adherence to it, interpersonal communication within the group, etc.

Product assessment

The output is assessed against the pre-set rubrics. Assessment is done to grade or rank students based on items including quality of product and adherence to the guidelines, creativity, utility, and replicability.

Adherence to the rubrics established a near to reliable process that can be effective for summative assessment.

Step five: Evaluation

Despite having the evaluation part as the last step, but it needs to be planned for at the early stages of designing the assignments. Evaluation equals organizational learning. Where all stakeholders can see tangible outcomes of the assignments and can learn from the experience of students and staff members while conducting these assignments that are usable and usable by others. Only through good evaluation, the next cycles of E-assignments will include better plans, more innovative approaches, and maybe more involvement of students and community members.

Decide upon level(s) of evaluation (Kirkpatrick)

Evaluating the assignments at multiple levels (according to Kirkpatrick’s model) provides planners and stakeholders with a comprehensive evaluation that helps further planning. The satisfaction of different parties is important and easy to evaluate including students, staff members, and other stakeholders. As acceptability of assignments is key to their success. Rubrics will help evaluate the learning component from the assignments which is another crucial outcome of the whole process. The behaviours of participating students should also be evaluated using tools that evaluate professionalism and other various competencies such as collaboration, communication, and community awareness. A suggested tool is the 30 degrees evaluation (AKA Multisource feedback) to let all involved individuals evaluate their peers. At last, comparing the students’ overall performance before and after the E-assignment might be another method to evaluate the impact of such a process.

Develop data collection tools (forms)

The planning team should pay attention to the development of data collection tools once they agree on the evaluation framework. Using validated tools for data collection is a possibility and saves a lot of the team’s effort and time. However, innovative assignments might require the development of authentic tools that will need validation by medical education experts.

The team will also need to consider not to overwhelm users with multiple forms. The role is always to select a manageable number of indicators while planning. Select the essential and not interesting indicators. Using electronic forms for data collection will provide better access to various stakeholders with also initial analysis that can be done.

Analyse results

A simple and representative analysis of the results will be an outcome of a well-planned design of the evaluation that is most importantly has clear objectives. Some very important outcomes from our perspective are acceptability of the assignment, evidence of learning among students, and the development of the students’ personalities and behaviours. Proper and deliberate analysis of results will defiantly make the next step easier and specific to serve the process of E-assignments.

Discuss results with stakeholders

Involving various stakeholders is an essential step to ensure not only more development and improvement of E-assignments but also to sustain them as a norm in health-professions education institutes and promote the acceptability of this method among other less-involved staff members. Stakeholders include decision-makers, staff members from the same school, staff, members from other schools who are partners, or potential partners in interdisciplinary assignments, students, and community members.

Decide on further planning and implementation for better outcomes

Considering the feedback from various stakeholders and evaluation results, discussions regarding further plans and next steps should take place to design the E-assignments for the next cycle. Learning from lessons and realize that we always have an opportunity for improvement are important norms for team planning and implementing E-assignments to consider.

Disseminate results

Part of the academic scholarship of such experience should include dissemination of the results of such a useful experience. This dissemination can be performed at the local level where students themselves can put their work on posters or E-posters and have the chance to display them to peers and staff in some event. Publication of the experience will also help expand on the use of such valuable learning and assessment tools.

Replicate experience

After proper dissemination, multiple parties can be inspired by such a unique, creative, and active learning tool. This will include the wider application of E-assignment to cover other curricular areas or other phases in the medical school as well as replication of the successful experience in other health professions or even non-health professions institutes.

An integrated assignment was held for 3rd-year medical students. This started with a needs assessment done through a set of questionnaires administered to students. The questionnaires included both quantitative (5-Likert scale questions) and qualitative data (open-ended questions). Priorities identified were discussed in a focus group. Rubrics for assignment grading were designed in a series of faculty meetings that resulted in an approved assignment guide containing the instructions and the rubrics that were announced to students before the start of the assignment. A plan was developed with students to build a question bank.

Training sessions were held for the staff members, then the students over Zoom on how to develop an item for a question bank. The scope of questions was identified for students guided by the integrated lecture schedule. Templates were developed and handed to students. Students were assigned specific integrated lectures to study and the task was to develop a case scenario item for each lecture. Thus, the primary outcome of acquiring deep understanding, develop analytical thinking, together with the clinical application are ensured.

Items are screened for face validity revised by mentors and those accepted had to pass through a three-student committee for peer review and comments and Cases were submitted to the required formatting process to be published to the students’ Question bank. As a result of this assignment, we ended up with a seven hundred-item bank completely revised and validated and ready to be added to the faculty item bank. The authors and reviewers were affiliated in the section they have created.

Online quiz competitions were held using the students’ Q bank items to maximize student engagement. Item analysis for post-validation was performed. The whole process was evaluated by analysing student responses to the questionnaire and opinions expressed in a focus group.

The students enjoyed the experience as was apparent from the low percentage of student drop out from the activity (4.7%) and the comments that were seen in the focus group follow up call that was held to collect student opinions and satisfaction level as indicated from what they expressed during the focus group:

“I wish this technique could be applied in all years”

“It was an extremely fruitful experience and it is a sincere pleasure working with this competent team. Next time, the teams should be more organised. Better communication between the organisers, writers, and reviewers. Starting up an online upload of the questions is a great step as well.”

“I found the experience very satisfying and didn’t find any problem concerning my part”.

“I got a good experience in this workshop. It’s well organized and the instructor was very encouraging and cooperating.”

I don’t think that this work is over. And I believe we should continue working to increase and improve our question bank so that it could withhold more topics and not necessarily only the topics predetermined by our Faculty. We could also and hopefully do such question banks for other fields too.

Other ideas for multidisciplinary assignment-projects can even cover even clinical skills and competencies. Proposed examples for this are creating virtual patients’ videos ( Berman et al., 2016 and Consorti et al., 2012 ). This can be used as an assignment for assessing algorithm reasoning among students.

Take Home Messages

An integrated competency-based assignment can be well-tailored to an enthusiastic project, not only to provide a fair assessment but also, to create a usable product. Students’ engagement in the needs assessment, design, plan, implementation, and evaluation of the end product maximize the outputs to unexpected horizons. In addition to ensuring acquiring the intended skills and competencies.

Notes On Contributors

Hebat Allah A. Amin: MSc, MD, AICPD, FAIMER fellow 2020. She is a lecturer of Histopathology, the Academic Co-chair of the Steering Committee for the MBBCh program, phase I coordinator, Head of the E-Learning Committee, and member in the exam Committee and the medical education unit, Faculty of Medicine, Helwan University (FMHU). ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3311-4840

Mohamed Hany K. Shehata: MSc, MD, MHPE, FAIMER Fellow. He is a Professor of Family Medicine - AGU. Faculty in EMR Regional FAIMER Institute. He founded the Medical Education Unit at Helwan University. Worked as an educational consultant in the Egyptian Fellowship. In Suez Canal University he led the school’s teams of field training, Clinical teaching, and OSCE.ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7069-9329

Samar A. Ahmed: Medical Doctorate, MHPE, FAIMER Fellow, UNESCO TOT, Full professor in Forensic Medicine Ain Shams University, Director of ASU-MENA-FRI. She has a wide experience in project management and proposal writing after being a part of the Ministry of Higher Education EU project team for quite some time. She held many educational positions as a director of the quality assurance unit and the Director of the education development unit in more than one university. ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8119-9258

Declarations

The author has declared that there are no conflicts of interest.

Ethics Statement

Faculty of Medicine, Helwan University, Research Ethics Committee for Human & Animal Research (FMHU-REC) has approved the project entitled ‘Medical Students’ Contribution to Curriculum Reformation’, REC no 24/2020. The included case-study is the phase I implementation. FMHU-REC is organised and operated according to the Declaration of Helsinki.

External Funding

This article has not had any External Funding

Acknowledgments

Figures 1 & 2 : Source: the authors.

The authors greatly acknowledge the batches’ (2016 and 2017) students for their outstanding performance, cooperation, and enthusiasm. Special thanks to the students’ CBL writing team. Their tedious efforts are well appreciated.

[version 1; peer review: This article was migrated, the article was marked as recommended]

Bibliography/References

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  • Holmboe E. S., Sherbino J., Long D. M., Swing S. R., et al., (2010) The role of assessment in competency-based medical education. Medical Teacher. 32 ( 8 ), pp.676–8682. 10.3109/0142159X.2010.500704 [ PubMed ] [ CrossRef ] [ Google Scholar ]
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  • Ferris H. A.and O’Flynn D.(2015) Assessment in Medical Education; What Are We Trying to Achieve? International Journal of Higher Education. 4 ( 2 ), pp.139–144. 10.5430/ijhe.v4n2p139 [ CrossRef ] [ Google Scholar ]
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  • Version 1. MedEdPublish (2016). 2020; 9: 120.

Reviewer response for version 1

Keith wilson.

1 Dalhousie University

This review has been migrated. The reviewer awarded 4 stars out of 5 The authors of this paper help the reader explore a roadmap to developing innovative assessments in an era of COVID-19. They rightly argue that we are exploring the exchange of formative and summative approaches to assessment.They provide a case example at the end of the article although I do feel this may better be served up front to provide context. Alternatively, as they elaborate on their suggested steps, elements of the case example could be woven in to give more ideas to the reader. The article has so many good elements/learning points that it may have been helpful to simplify down some of the messages – it could be turned into a new model of thinking about assessment. My worry is that some of the suggestions may be diluted down in the list. One of the most practical sections of the article is in the section on “Questions” – it provides some really great advice on how educators can build an innovative assessment. I feel that there are a number of areas where additional references would be beneficial for the reader. I would be happy to share these with the authors if interested. Overall this is a very interesting and timely article on how we can approach creative assessments in light of COVID-19. However, the real impact is how this approach can be realised beyond our restrictions during COVID-19. Anyone interested in assessment of students should read this article as it contains a number of practical tips.

Reviewer Expertise:

No decision status is available

Gehan Sadek

1 Menoufia Faculty of Medicine

This review has been migrated. The reviewer awarded 5 stars out of 5 Professional beneficial well-structured work. I got many new ideas from it. Can be very useful in the current situation regarding COVID 19 pandemic. Thanks for this work

Anne D Souza

1 Kasturba Medical College, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, India

This review has been migrated. The reviewer awarded 4 stars out of 5 I enjoyed reading this article. Especially the description of the case study is quite impressive.The mapping of skills for each assignment could be a highly recommendable approach. The guidelines provided are precise and give a bird’s eye view on how an online assignment needs to be designed. The summary describes the entire process thoroughly.My suggestion is a flow diagram describing the entire process of creating e-assignments that could reinforce the summary.Thank you for this innovative and informative work.

Susmita Reddy Karri

1 Topiwala national medical college and BYL nair charitable hospital, mumbai. india

This review has been migrated. The reviewer awarded 5 stars out of 5 Great work. A very thorough and well structured work.

Felix Silwimba

1 University of Lusaka

This review has been migrated. The reviewer awarded 5 stars out of 5 Well detailed and clearly shared knowledge on e-assessments. I have personally picked a number of good ideas.

mariam asaad amin ibrahim

1 ain shams faculty of medicine

This review has been migrated. The reviewer awarded 5 stars out of 5 Very innovative and professionalThank you for the excellent guide

Mustafa.H Shahin

This review has been migrated. The reviewer awarded 5 stars out of 5 It really was a great experince to join and work in a great team . I hope to make more and more achievments in the near future with this enthusiastic and cooparative partners.

dalia gaber

1 faculty of medicine, helwan university

This review has been migrated. The reviewer awarded 5 stars out of 5 Thank you for establishing such amazing work that can be a guide for medical educators as an innovative assessment tool.

This review has been migrated. The reviewer awarded 5 stars out of 5 It is an amazing idea and a great workThanks for your efforts

Nagwa Hegazy

1 Menoufia university

This review has been migrated. The reviewer awarded 4 stars out of 5 Thanks for this authentic detailed work.It suits the current era. I enjoyed reading the suggested model of E-Assignments levels and the matrix for the assignment elements. That was really descriptive. I believe that combining it with Miller pyramid could be a good step. My question for the authors; isn't product assessment part of the evaluation? The presence of the case study had shown the applicability of the proposed model.Thanks again for this great work

Zeinab Kasemy

1 Menoufia faculty of medicine

This review has been migrated. The reviewer awarded 5 stars out of 5 Nice work

Haidy Khalil

1 Faculty of Medicine / Helwan University

This review has been migrated. The reviewer awarded 5 stars out of 5 Very fruitful and to the point, Great work.

Amany Shabaiek

1 Forensic medicine authority

This review has been migrated. The reviewer awarded 5 stars out of 5 Meticulous innovative work and great effort.. From a professional team.. God blesses you

1 Helwan faculty of medicine

This review has been migrated. The reviewer awarded 5 stars out of 5 Great work as usual Dr Heba and Dr Mohamed.. Being a part of Helwan faculty of Medicine, I can see how those assignments develop students' skills.. Hope this will be a part of routine practice in Helwan after Covid elemenation..

Nagwa Kostandy Kalleny Nasrallah Nasrallah

1 Faculty of Medicice Ain Shams University

This review has been migrated. The reviewer awarded 5 stars out of 5 A great professional very helpful work. Keep it up.

Dalia Abouelfadl

This review has been migrated. The reviewer awarded 5 stars out of 5 Great work as usual Dr HebaVery beneficial in times of pandemics like these days.Keep going

sally saied

1 egyptian medicolegal authority

This review has been migrated. The reviewer awarded 5 stars out of 5 Great job and amazing effort, meticulous results. very professional And useful work

Shaimaa Bahr

This review has been migrated. The reviewer awarded 5 stars out of 5 Very informative,beneficial and applicable! Great work doctors.

Safa Alkalash

1 Menoufia univeristy

This review has been migrated. The reviewer awarded 4 stars out of 5 Excellent and great work dear professors.

Jihan Ahmed Elwahab

1 Environmental sciences and research institution

This review has been migrated. The reviewer awarded 5 stars out of 5 A strong paper based on current situation and establishing quick response to educational proplems. And great effort

Sherin Naguib

1 Egyptian Forensic medicine authority

This review has been migrated. The reviewer awarded 5 stars out of 5 Great and professional job, hard effort, and amazing results

Lamyaa El Hassan

1 Faculty of Medicine. Jazan University

This review has been migrated. The reviewer awarded 5 stars out of 5 Excellent. Very informative and useful.

Nayera Mostafa

1 Faculty of medicine, Ain Shams University

This review has been migrated. The reviewer awarded 4 stars out of 5 Great and beneficial work. Keep it up!

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MIT Comparative Media Studies/Writing

Resources for Teachers: Creating Writing Assignments

This page contains four specific areas:

Creating Effective Assignments

Checking the assignment, sequencing writing assignments, selecting an effective writing assignment format.

Research has shown that the more detailed a writing assignment is, the better the student papers are in response to that assignment. Instructors can often help students write more effective papers by giving students written instructions about that assignment. Explicit descriptions of assignments on the syllabus or on an “assignment sheet” tend to produce the best results. These instructions might make explicit the process or steps necessary to complete the assignment. Assignment sheets should detail:

  • the kind of writing expected
  • the scope of acceptable subject matter
  • the length requirements
  • formatting requirements
  • documentation format
  • the amount and type of research expected (if any)
  • the writer’s role
  • deadlines for the first draft and its revision

Providing questions or needed data in the assignment helps students get started. For instance, some questions can suggest a mode of organization to the students. Other questions might suggest a procedure to follow. The questions posed should require that students assert a thesis.

The following areas should help you create effective writing assignments.

Examining your goals for the assignment

  • How exactly does this assignment fit with the objectives of your course?
  • Should this assignment relate only to the class and the texts for the class, or should it also relate to the world beyond the classroom?
  • What do you want the students to learn or experience from this writing assignment?
  • Should this assignment be an individual or a collaborative effort?
  • What do you want students to show you in this assignment? To demonstrate mastery of concepts or texts? To demonstrate logical and critical thinking? To develop an original idea? To learn and demonstrate the procedures, practices, and tools of your field of study?

Defining the writing task

  • Is the assignment sequenced so that students: (1) write a draft, (2) receive feedback (from you, fellow students, or staff members at the Writing and Communication Center), and (3) then revise it? Such a procedure has been proven to accomplish at least two goals: it improves the student’s writing and it discourages plagiarism.
  • Does the assignment include so many sub-questions that students will be confused about the major issue they should examine? Can you give more guidance about what the paper’s main focus should be? Can you reduce the number of sub-questions?
  • What is the purpose of the assignment (e.g., review knowledge already learned, find additional information, synthesize research, examine a new hypothesis)? Making the purpose(s) of the assignment explicit helps students write the kind of paper you want.
  • What is the required form (e.g., expository essay, lab report, memo, business report)?
  • What mode is required for the assignment (e.g., description, narration, analysis, persuasion, a combination of two or more of these)?

Defining the audience for the paper

  • Can you define a hypothetical audience to help students determine which concepts to define and explain? When students write only to the instructor, they may assume that little, if anything, requires explanation. Defining the whole class as the intended audience will clarify this issue for students.
  • What is the probable attitude of the intended readers toward the topic itself? Toward the student writer’s thesis? Toward the student writer?
  • What is the probable educational and economic background of the intended readers?

Defining the writer’s role

  • Can you make explicit what persona you wish the students to assume? For example, a very effective role for student writers is that of a “professional in training” who uses the assumptions, the perspective, and the conceptual tools of the discipline.

Defining your evaluative criteria

1. If possible, explain the relative weight in grading assigned to the quality of writing and the assignment’s content:

  • depth of coverage
  • organization
  • critical thinking
  • original thinking
  • use of research
  • logical demonstration
  • appropriate mode of structure and analysis (e.g., comparison, argument)
  • correct use of sources
  • grammar and mechanics
  • professional tone
  • correct use of course-specific concepts and terms.

Here’s a checklist for writing assignments:

  • Have you used explicit command words in your instructions (e.g., “compare and contrast” and “explain” are more explicit than “explore” or “consider”)? The more explicit the command words, the better chance the students will write the type of paper you wish.
  • Does the assignment suggest a topic, thesis, and format? Should it?
  • Have you told students the kind of audience they are addressing — the level of knowledge they can assume the readers have and your particular preferences (e.g., “avoid slang, use the first-person sparingly”)?
  • If the assignment has several stages of completion, have you made the various deadlines clear? Is your policy on due dates clear?
  • Have you presented the assignment in a manageable form? For instance, a 5-page assignment sheet for a 1-page paper may overwhelm students. Similarly, a 1-sentence assignment for a 25-page paper may offer insufficient guidance.

There are several benefits of sequencing writing assignments:

  • Sequencing provides a sense of coherence for the course.
  • This approach helps students see progress and purpose in their work rather than seeing the writing assignments as separate exercises.
  • It encourages complexity through sustained attention, revision, and consideration of multiple perspectives.
  • If you have only one large paper due near the end of the course, you might create a sequence of smaller assignments leading up to and providing a foundation for that larger paper (e.g., proposal of the topic, an annotated bibliography, a progress report, a summary of the paper’s key argument, a first draft of the paper itself). This approach allows you to give students guidance and also discourages plagiarism.
  • It mirrors the approach to written work in many professions.

The concept of sequencing writing assignments also allows for a wide range of options in creating the assignment. It is often beneficial to have students submit the components suggested below to your course’s STELLAR web site.

Use the writing process itself. In its simplest form, “sequencing an assignment” can mean establishing some sort of “official” check of the prewriting and drafting steps in the writing process. This step guarantees that students will not write the whole paper in one sitting and also gives students more time to let their ideas develop. This check might be something as informal as having students work on their prewriting or draft for a few minutes at the end of class. Or it might be something more formal such as collecting the prewriting and giving a few suggestions and comments.

Have students submit drafts. You might ask students to submit a first draft in order to receive your quick responses to its content, or have them submit written questions about the content and scope of their projects after they have completed their first draft.

Establish small groups. Set up small writing groups of three-five students from the class. Allow them to meet for a few minutes in class or have them arrange a meeting outside of class to comment constructively on each other’s drafts. The students do not need to be writing on the same topic.

Require consultations. Have students consult with someone in the Writing and Communication Center about their prewriting and/or drafts. The Center has yellow forms that we can give to students to inform you that such a visit was made.

Explore a subject in increasingly complex ways. A series of reading and writing assignments may be linked by the same subject matter or topic. Students encounter new perspectives and competing ideas with each new reading, and thus must evaluate and balance various views and adopt a position that considers the various points of view.

Change modes of discourse. In this approach, students’ assignments move from less complex to more complex modes of discourse (e.g., from expressive to analytic to argumentative; or from lab report to position paper to research article).

Change audiences. In this approach, students create drafts for different audiences, moving from personal to public (e.g., from self-reflection to an audience of peers to an audience of specialists). Each change would require different tasks and more extensive knowledge.

Change perspective through time. In this approach, students might write a statement of their understanding of a subject or issue at the beginning of a course and then return at the end of the semester to write an analysis of that original stance in the light of the experiences and knowledge gained in the course.

Use a natural sequence. A different approach to sequencing is to create a series of assignments culminating in a final writing project. In scientific and technical writing, for example, students could write a proposal requesting approval of a particular topic. The next assignment might be a progress report (or a series of progress reports), and the final assignment could be the report or document itself. For humanities and social science courses, students might write a proposal requesting approval of a particular topic, then hand in an annotated bibliography, and then a draft, and then the final version of the paper.

Have students submit sections. A variation of the previous approach is to have students submit various sections of their final document throughout the semester (e.g., their bibliography, review of the literature, methods section).

In addition to the standard essay and report formats, several other formats exist that might give students a different slant on the course material or allow them to use slightly different writing skills. Here are some suggestions:

Journals. Journals have become a popular format in recent years for courses that require some writing. In-class journal entries can spark discussions and reveal gaps in students’ understanding of the material. Having students write an in-class entry summarizing the material covered that day can aid the learning process and also reveal concepts that require more elaboration. Out-of-class entries involve short summaries or analyses of texts, or are a testing ground for ideas for student papers and reports. Although journals may seem to add a huge burden for instructors to correct, in fact many instructors either spot-check journals (looking at a few particular key entries) or grade them based on the number of entries completed. Journals are usually not graded for their prose style. STELLAR forums work well for out-of-class entries.

Letters. Students can define and defend a position on an issue in a letter written to someone in authority. They can also explain a concept or a process to someone in need of that particular information. They can write a letter to a friend explaining their concerns about an upcoming paper assignment or explaining their ideas for an upcoming paper assignment. If you wish to add a creative element to the writing assignment, you might have students adopt the persona of an important person discussed in your course (e.g., an historical figure) and write a letter explaining his/her actions, process, or theory to an interested person (e.g., “pretend that you are John Wilkes Booth and write a letter to the Congress justifying your assassination of Abraham Lincoln,” or “pretend you are Henry VIII writing to Thomas More explaining your break from the Catholic Church”).

Editorials . Students can define and defend a position on a controversial issue in the format of an editorial for the campus or local newspaper or for a national journal.

Cases . Students might create a case study particular to the course’s subject matter.

Position Papers . Students can define and defend a position, perhaps as a preliminary step in the creation of a formal research paper or essay.

Imitation of a Text . Students can create a new document “in the style of” a particular writer (e.g., “Create a government document the way Woody Allen might write it” or “Write your own ‘Modest Proposal’ about a modern issue”).

Instruction Manuals . Students write a step-by-step explanation of a process.

Dialogues . Students create a dialogue between two major figures studied in which they not only reveal those people’s theories or thoughts but also explore areas of possible disagreement (e.g., “Write a dialogue between Claude Monet and Jackson Pollock about the nature and uses of art”).

Collaborative projects . Students work together to create such works as reports, questions, and critiques.

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Research Method

Home » Assignment – Types, Examples and Writing Guide

Assignment – Types, Examples and Writing Guide

Table of Contents

Assignment

Definition:

Assignment is a task given to students by a teacher or professor, usually as a means of assessing their understanding and application of course material. Assignments can take various forms, including essays, research papers, presentations, problem sets, lab reports, and more.

Assignments are typically designed to be completed outside of class time and may require independent research, critical thinking, and analysis. They are often graded and used as a significant component of a student’s overall course grade. The instructions for an assignment usually specify the goals, requirements, and deadlines for completion, and students are expected to meet these criteria to earn a good grade.

History of Assignment

The use of assignments as a tool for teaching and learning has been a part of education for centuries. Following is a brief history of the Assignment.

  • Ancient Times: Assignments such as writing exercises, recitations, and memorization tasks were used to reinforce learning.
  • Medieval Period : Universities began to develop the concept of the assignment, with students completing essays, commentaries, and translations to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the subject matter.
  • 19th Century : With the growth of schools and universities, assignments became more widespread and were used to assess student progress and achievement.
  • 20th Century: The rise of distance education and online learning led to the further development of assignments as an integral part of the educational process.
  • Present Day: Assignments continue to be used in a variety of educational settings and are seen as an effective way to promote student learning and assess student achievement. The nature and format of assignments continue to evolve in response to changing educational needs and technological innovations.

Types of Assignment

Here are some of the most common types of assignments:

An essay is a piece of writing that presents an argument, analysis, or interpretation of a topic or question. It usually consists of an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

Essay structure:

  • Introduction : introduces the topic and thesis statement
  • Body paragraphs : each paragraph presents a different argument or idea, with evidence and analysis to support it
  • Conclusion : summarizes the key points and reiterates the thesis statement

Research paper

A research paper involves gathering and analyzing information on a particular topic, and presenting the findings in a well-structured, documented paper. It usually involves conducting original research, collecting data, and presenting it in a clear, organized manner.

Research paper structure:

  • Title page : includes the title of the paper, author’s name, date, and institution
  • Abstract : summarizes the paper’s main points and conclusions
  • Introduction : provides background information on the topic and research question
  • Literature review: summarizes previous research on the topic
  • Methodology : explains how the research was conducted
  • Results : presents the findings of the research
  • Discussion : interprets the results and draws conclusions
  • Conclusion : summarizes the key findings and implications

A case study involves analyzing a real-life situation, problem or issue, and presenting a solution or recommendations based on the analysis. It often involves extensive research, data analysis, and critical thinking.

Case study structure:

  • Introduction : introduces the case study and its purpose
  • Background : provides context and background information on the case
  • Analysis : examines the key issues and problems in the case
  • Solution/recommendations: proposes solutions or recommendations based on the analysis
  • Conclusion: Summarize the key points and implications

A lab report is a scientific document that summarizes the results of a laboratory experiment or research project. It typically includes an introduction, methodology, results, discussion, and conclusion.

Lab report structure:

  • Title page : includes the title of the experiment, author’s name, date, and institution
  • Abstract : summarizes the purpose, methodology, and results of the experiment
  • Methods : explains how the experiment was conducted
  • Results : presents the findings of the experiment

Presentation

A presentation involves delivering information, data or findings to an audience, often with the use of visual aids such as slides, charts, or diagrams. It requires clear communication skills, good organization, and effective use of technology.

Presentation structure:

  • Introduction : introduces the topic and purpose of the presentation
  • Body : presents the main points, findings, or data, with the help of visual aids
  • Conclusion : summarizes the key points and provides a closing statement

Creative Project

A creative project is an assignment that requires students to produce something original, such as a painting, sculpture, video, or creative writing piece. It allows students to demonstrate their creativity and artistic skills.

Creative project structure:

  • Introduction : introduces the project and its purpose
  • Body : presents the creative work, with explanations or descriptions as needed
  • Conclusion : summarizes the key elements and reflects on the creative process.

Examples of Assignments

Following are Examples of Assignment templates samples:

Essay template:

I. Introduction

  • Hook: Grab the reader’s attention with a catchy opening sentence.
  • Background: Provide some context or background information on the topic.
  • Thesis statement: State the main argument or point of your essay.

II. Body paragraphs

  • Topic sentence: Introduce the main idea or argument of the paragraph.
  • Evidence: Provide evidence or examples to support your point.
  • Analysis: Explain how the evidence supports your argument.
  • Transition: Use a transition sentence to lead into the next paragraph.

III. Conclusion

  • Restate thesis: Summarize your main argument or point.
  • Review key points: Summarize the main points you made in your essay.
  • Concluding thoughts: End with a final thought or call to action.

Research paper template:

I. Title page

  • Title: Give your paper a descriptive title.
  • Author: Include your name and institutional affiliation.
  • Date: Provide the date the paper was submitted.

II. Abstract

  • Background: Summarize the background and purpose of your research.
  • Methodology: Describe the methods you used to conduct your research.
  • Results: Summarize the main findings of your research.
  • Conclusion: Provide a brief summary of the implications and conclusions of your research.

III. Introduction

  • Background: Provide some background information on the topic.
  • Research question: State your research question or hypothesis.
  • Purpose: Explain the purpose of your research.

IV. Literature review

  • Background: Summarize previous research on the topic.
  • Gaps in research: Identify gaps or areas that need further research.

V. Methodology

  • Participants: Describe the participants in your study.
  • Procedure: Explain the procedure you used to conduct your research.
  • Measures: Describe the measures you used to collect data.

VI. Results

  • Quantitative results: Summarize the quantitative data you collected.
  • Qualitative results: Summarize the qualitative data you collected.

VII. Discussion

  • Interpretation: Interpret the results and explain what they mean.
  • Implications: Discuss the implications of your research.
  • Limitations: Identify any limitations or weaknesses of your research.

VIII. Conclusion

  • Review key points: Summarize the main points you made in your paper.

Case study template:

  • Background: Provide background information on the case.
  • Research question: State the research question or problem you are examining.
  • Purpose: Explain the purpose of the case study.

II. Analysis

  • Problem: Identify the main problem or issue in the case.
  • Factors: Describe the factors that contributed to the problem.
  • Alternative solutions: Describe potential solutions to the problem.

III. Solution/recommendations

  • Proposed solution: Describe the solution you are proposing.
  • Rationale: Explain why this solution is the best one.
  • Implementation: Describe how the solution can be implemented.

IV. Conclusion

  • Summary: Summarize the main points of your case study.

Lab report template:

  • Title: Give your report a descriptive title.
  • Date: Provide the date the report was submitted.
  • Background: Summarize the background and purpose of the experiment.
  • Methodology: Describe the methods you used to conduct the experiment.
  • Results: Summarize the main findings of the experiment.
  • Conclusion: Provide a brief summary of the implications and conclusions
  • Background: Provide some background information on the experiment.
  • Hypothesis: State your hypothesis or research question.
  • Purpose: Explain the purpose of the experiment.

IV. Materials and methods

  • Materials: List the materials and equipment used in the experiment.
  • Procedure: Describe the procedure you followed to conduct the experiment.
  • Data: Present the data you collected in tables or graphs.
  • Analysis: Analyze the data and describe the patterns or trends you observed.

VI. Discussion

  • Implications: Discuss the implications of your findings.
  • Limitations: Identify any limitations or weaknesses of the experiment.

VII. Conclusion

  • Restate hypothesis: Summarize your hypothesis or research question.
  • Review key points: Summarize the main points you made in your report.

Presentation template:

  • Attention grabber: Grab the audience’s attention with a catchy opening.
  • Purpose: Explain the purpose of your presentation.
  • Overview: Provide an overview of what you will cover in your presentation.

II. Main points

  • Main point 1: Present the first main point of your presentation.
  • Supporting details: Provide supporting details or evidence to support your point.
  • Main point 2: Present the second main point of your presentation.
  • Main point 3: Present the third main point of your presentation.
  • Summary: Summarize the main points of your presentation.
  • Call to action: End with a final thought or call to action.

Creative writing template:

  • Setting: Describe the setting of your story.
  • Characters: Introduce the main characters of your story.
  • Rising action: Introduce the conflict or problem in your story.
  • Climax: Present the most intense moment of the story.
  • Falling action: Resolve the conflict or problem in your story.
  • Resolution: Describe how the conflict or problem was resolved.
  • Final thoughts: End with a final thought or reflection on the story.

How to Write Assignment

Here is a general guide on how to write an assignment:

  • Understand the assignment prompt: Before you begin writing, make sure you understand what the assignment requires. Read the prompt carefully and make note of any specific requirements or guidelines.
  • Research and gather information: Depending on the type of assignment, you may need to do research to gather information to support your argument or points. Use credible sources such as academic journals, books, and reputable websites.
  • Organize your ideas : Once you have gathered all the necessary information, organize your ideas into a clear and logical structure. Consider creating an outline or diagram to help you visualize your ideas.
  • Write a draft: Begin writing your assignment using your organized ideas and research. Don’t worry too much about grammar or sentence structure at this point; the goal is to get your thoughts down on paper.
  • Revise and edit: After you have written a draft, revise and edit your work. Make sure your ideas are presented in a clear and concise manner, and that your sentences and paragraphs flow smoothly.
  • Proofread: Finally, proofread your work for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. It’s a good idea to have someone else read over your assignment as well to catch any mistakes you may have missed.
  • Submit your assignment : Once you are satisfied with your work, submit your assignment according to the instructions provided by your instructor or professor.

Applications of Assignment

Assignments have many applications across different fields and industries. Here are a few examples:

  • Education : Assignments are a common tool used in education to help students learn and demonstrate their knowledge. They can be used to assess a student’s understanding of a particular topic, to develop critical thinking skills, and to improve writing and research abilities.
  • Business : Assignments can be used in the business world to assess employee skills, to evaluate job performance, and to provide training opportunities. They can also be used to develop business plans, marketing strategies, and financial projections.
  • Journalism : Assignments are often used in journalism to produce news articles, features, and investigative reports. Journalists may be assigned to cover a particular event or topic, or to research and write a story on a specific subject.
  • Research : Assignments can be used in research to collect and analyze data, to conduct experiments, and to present findings in written or oral form. Researchers may be assigned to conduct research on a specific topic, to write a research paper, or to present their findings at a conference or seminar.
  • Government : Assignments can be used in government to develop policy proposals, to conduct research, and to analyze data. Government officials may be assigned to work on a specific project or to conduct research on a particular topic.
  • Non-profit organizations: Assignments can be used in non-profit organizations to develop fundraising strategies, to plan events, and to conduct research. Volunteers may be assigned to work on a specific project or to help with a particular task.

Purpose of Assignment

The purpose of an assignment varies depending on the context in which it is given. However, some common purposes of assignments include:

  • Assessing learning: Assignments are often used to assess a student’s understanding of a particular topic or concept. This allows educators to determine if a student has mastered the material or if they need additional support.
  • Developing skills: Assignments can be used to develop a wide range of skills, such as critical thinking, problem-solving, research, and communication. Assignments that require students to analyze and synthesize information can help to build these skills.
  • Encouraging creativity: Assignments can be designed to encourage students to be creative and think outside the box. This can help to foster innovation and original thinking.
  • Providing feedback : Assignments provide an opportunity for teachers to provide feedback to students on their progress and performance. Feedback can help students to understand where they need to improve and to develop a growth mindset.
  • Meeting learning objectives : Assignments can be designed to help students meet specific learning objectives or outcomes. For example, a writing assignment may be designed to help students improve their writing skills, while a research assignment may be designed to help students develop their research skills.

When to write Assignment

Assignments are typically given by instructors or professors as part of a course or academic program. The timing of when to write an assignment will depend on the specific requirements of the course or program, but in general, assignments should be completed within the timeframe specified by the instructor or program guidelines.

It is important to begin working on assignments as soon as possible to ensure enough time for research, writing, and revisions. Waiting until the last minute can result in rushed work and lower quality output.

It is also important to prioritize assignments based on their due dates and the amount of work required. This will help to manage time effectively and ensure that all assignments are completed on time.

In addition to assignments given by instructors or professors, there may be other situations where writing an assignment is necessary. For example, in the workplace, assignments may be given to complete a specific project or task. In these situations, it is important to establish clear deadlines and expectations to ensure that the assignment is completed on time and to a high standard.

Characteristics of Assignment

Here are some common characteristics of assignments:

  • Purpose : Assignments have a specific purpose, such as assessing knowledge or developing skills. They are designed to help students learn and achieve specific learning objectives.
  • Requirements: Assignments have specific requirements that must be met, such as a word count, format, or specific content. These requirements are usually provided by the instructor or professor.
  • Deadline: Assignments have a specific deadline for completion, which is usually set by the instructor or professor. It is important to meet the deadline to avoid penalties or lower grades.
  • Individual or group work: Assignments can be completed individually or as part of a group. Group assignments may require collaboration and communication with other group members.
  • Feedback : Assignments provide an opportunity for feedback from the instructor or professor. This feedback can help students to identify areas of improvement and to develop their skills.
  • Academic integrity: Assignments require academic integrity, which means that students must submit original work and avoid plagiarism. This includes citing sources properly and following ethical guidelines.
  • Learning outcomes : Assignments are designed to help students achieve specific learning outcomes. These outcomes are usually related to the course objectives and may include developing critical thinking skills, writing abilities, or subject-specific knowledge.

Advantages of Assignment

There are several advantages of assignment, including:

  • Helps in learning: Assignments help students to reinforce their learning and understanding of a particular topic. By completing assignments, students get to apply the concepts learned in class, which helps them to better understand and retain the information.
  • Develops critical thinking skills: Assignments often require students to think critically and analyze information in order to come up with a solution or answer. This helps to develop their critical thinking skills, which are important for success in many areas of life.
  • Encourages creativity: Assignments that require students to create something, such as a piece of writing or a project, can encourage creativity and innovation. This can help students to develop new ideas and perspectives, which can be beneficial in many areas of life.
  • Builds time-management skills: Assignments often come with deadlines, which can help students to develop time-management skills. Learning how to manage time effectively is an important skill that can help students to succeed in many areas of life.
  • Provides feedback: Assignments provide an opportunity for students to receive feedback on their work. This feedback can help students to identify areas where they need to improve and can help them to grow and develop.

Limitations of Assignment

There are also some limitations of assignments that should be considered, including:

  • Limited scope: Assignments are often limited in scope, and may not provide a comprehensive understanding of a particular topic. They may only cover a specific aspect of a topic, and may not provide a full picture of the subject matter.
  • Lack of engagement: Some assignments may not engage students in the learning process, particularly if they are repetitive or not challenging enough. This can lead to a lack of motivation and interest in the subject matter.
  • Time-consuming: Assignments can be time-consuming, particularly if they require a lot of research or writing. This can be a disadvantage for students who have other commitments, such as work or extracurricular activities.
  • Unreliable assessment: The assessment of assignments can be subjective and may not always accurately reflect a student’s understanding or abilities. The grading may be influenced by factors such as the instructor’s personal biases or the student’s writing style.
  • Lack of feedback : Although assignments can provide feedback, this feedback may not always be detailed or useful. Instructors may not have the time or resources to provide detailed feedback on every assignment, which can limit the value of the feedback that students receive.

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Muhammad Hassan

Researcher, Academic Writer, Web developer

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Systematic Reviews and Evidence Syntheses : Evidence-Based Assignments

Introduction.

This page shares information and resources aimed at faculty who are planning evidence-based assignments as coursework.

How can the Library support your course?

The Library can support your course in a number of ways, including and not limited to those listed below:

Develop online learning objects (Canvas modules, videos, tutorials) which meet course or assignment learning objects.

Provide in-class instruction sessions on aspects of evidence-based practice, such as searching or critical appraisal.

Providing feedback on the feasibility of evidence-based assignments, from a student-centered viewpoint.

Ensure that we have maximal availability in our schedules for student consultations during a particular period of the semester.

Purchase texts , tools, and resources for your course.

A 'systematic review' as a course assignment?

Understanding the purpose and utility of systematic reviews is an important part of evidence-based practice. To achieve this end, some instructors choose to develop course assignments based on the systematic review. Here, we provide a few recommendations on how best to frame and structure these kinds of assignments.

1. Consider the time required and set appropriate expectations. A true systematic review typically takes 9-18 months to complete, making it an impractical course assignment based on the time scale alone. However, it is not necessary to complete a systematic review to gain a solid understanding of their purpose and utility. Assignments which focus on discrete aspects of the systematic review methodology, rather than completing the whole process, are highly effective.

2. Consider the most appropriate terminology for the assignment . The term 'systematized review' was developed to accurately name the kind of student assignment which uses an adapted and simplified methodology based on the systematic review. Utilizing the appropriate terminology will help students understand the differences between their assignment vs. a systematic review, and this can then open the door to discussions of how bias can be introduced when methodological simplifications occur.

3. Consider involving the Library. Evidence-based assignments, by their very nature, require students to locate and assess the available evidence. These are skills which we as librarians practice and teach about regularly. Involving the Library at the planning stages will help us ensure that we have the resources and time to devote to supporting your course assignments. You can read more about the variety of teaching and learning support we can offer in the box, "How can the Library support your course?"

Contact - course support

For course support, please reach out to:

Philip Espinola Coombs ,

the Systematic Reviews Group Lead ,

at [email protected]

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  • URL: https://subjectguides.lib.neu.edu/systematicreview

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Key Components of Assignment Prompts

  • May include general information about the assignment (e.g. Project 1; Minor Assignment 2, etc.) 
  • May include a more specific description of the project or assignment (e.g., Argument Paper; Social Media PSA, etc.)

Purpose & rationale  

  • The assignment should develop students’ understanding of the most important concepts, content, and methods of the course, and be directly related to the course goals. If the course carries Hub areas, consider explaining how the assignment connects to specific aspect of a Hub area. 
  • Provide a clear rationale, so students know how completing the assignment will benefit their learning in the course.

Assignment steps  

  • You may want to scaffold the steps of the assignment for students. This is especially helpful if you have an assignment that spans multiple weeks or is more complicated (e.g., If you are asking students to complete an assignment that involves an outline of ideas, formal proposal, and multiple drafts, make sure you are clearly providing instructions, expectations and deadlines for each step).

Target audience  

  • Students should understand the audience(s) for their work. In some cases, the audience is the instructor; in other cases, the instructor will be grading an assignment, but the students are asked to imagine an alternative, perhaps non-academic audience. In experiential learning or project-based learning, students might be addressing a real-world audience or client. Regardless, students should be able to demonstrate their understanding of single or multiple audiences and adjust their work accordingly. Assignment prompts play a key role in helping students imagine audience. 

Assignment rubric & grading

  • Breaking down your grading criteria helps students understand your expectations for each segment of the assignment, and prevents unnecessary confusion. The length and breakdown of your rubric may depend on your discipline, modality and components of your assignment. 
  • Clarify the scope and weight of the assignment (e.g., 20% of the final grade).

Submission guidelines & due dates

  • Clarify where and how students will be submitting their assignments. If submissions are electronic, ensure requirements for file types, file size, etc. are clear. 
  • Include the due dates and times for the assignment. 

Assignment tools and resources

  • Provide a list of tools and resources students need to complete this assignment. This may be anything from particular software, hardware, books, articles, etc. 
  • You may want to list where and how students can access these resources (e.g., computer lab; library; link to software download; etc). 
  • Offer resources for additional assistance. This may include your availability to meet with students or campus resources. 
  • Specify how students can contact you if they need more time for completing the assignment.

Looking for more templates ?

The Transparency in Learning and Teaching project provides a series of research-based templates for assignment prompts.

You may also be interested in:

Clarity of assignment prompts: considering multimodality, teaching bu hub courses in the summer, ai in the classroom, ctl guide to writing intensive (win) hub courses, ctl guide to individual in community, designing a course syllabus, communicate with students about generative ai.

Rubric Best Practices, Examples, and Templates

A rubric is a scoring tool that identifies the different criteria relevant to an assignment, assessment, or learning outcome and states the possible levels of achievement in a specific, clear, and objective way. Use rubrics to assess project-based student work including essays, group projects, creative endeavors, and oral presentations.

Rubrics can help instructors communicate expectations to students and assess student work fairly, consistently and efficiently. Rubrics can provide students with informative feedback on their strengths and weaknesses so that they can reflect on their performance and work on areas that need improvement.

How to Get Started

Best practices, moodle how-to guides.

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Step 1: Analyze the assignment

The first step in the rubric creation process is to analyze the assignment or assessment for which you are creating a rubric. To do this, consider the following questions:

  • What is the purpose of the assignment and your feedback? What do you want students to demonstrate through the completion of this assignment (i.e. what are the learning objectives measured by it)? Is it a summative assessment, or will students use the feedback to create an improved product?
  • Does the assignment break down into different or smaller tasks? Are these tasks equally important as the main assignment?
  • What would an “excellent” assignment look like? An “acceptable” assignment? One that still needs major work?
  • How detailed do you want the feedback you give students to be? Do you want/need to give them a grade?

Step 2: Decide what kind of rubric you will use

Types of rubrics: holistic, analytic/descriptive, single-point

Holistic Rubric. A holistic rubric includes all the criteria (such as clarity, organization, mechanics, etc.) to be considered together and included in a single evaluation. With a holistic rubric, the rater or grader assigns a single score based on an overall judgment of the student’s work, using descriptions of each performance level to assign the score.

Advantages of holistic rubrics:

  • Can p lace an emphasis on what learners can demonstrate rather than what they cannot
  • Save grader time by minimizing the number of evaluations to be made for each student
  • Can be used consistently across raters, provided they have all been trained

Disadvantages of holistic rubrics:

  • Provide less specific feedback than analytic/descriptive rubrics
  • Can be difficult to choose a score when a student’s work is at varying levels across the criteria
  • Any weighting of c riteria cannot be indicated in the rubric

Analytic/Descriptive Rubric . An analytic or descriptive rubric often takes the form of a table with the criteria listed in the left column and with levels of performance listed across the top row. Each cell contains a description of what the specified criterion looks like at a given level of performance. Each of the criteria is scored individually.

Advantages of analytic rubrics:

  • Provide detailed feedback on areas of strength or weakness
  • Each criterion can be weighted to reflect its relative importance

Disadvantages of analytic rubrics:

  • More time-consuming to create and use than a holistic rubric
  • May not be used consistently across raters unless the cells are well defined
  • May result in giving less personalized feedback

Single-Point Rubric . A single-point rubric is breaks down the components of an assignment into different criteria, but instead of describing different levels of performance, only the “proficient” level is described. Feedback space is provided for instructors to give individualized comments to help students improve and/or show where they excelled beyond the proficiency descriptors.

Advantages of single-point rubrics:

  • Easier to create than an analytic/descriptive rubric
  • Perhaps more likely that students will read the descriptors
  • Areas of concern and excellence are open-ended
  • May removes a focus on the grade/points
  • May increase student creativity in project-based assignments

Disadvantage of analytic rubrics: Requires more work for instructors writing feedback

Step 3 (Optional): Look for templates and examples.

You might Google, “Rubric for persuasive essay at the college level” and see if there are any publicly available examples to start from. Ask your colleagues if they have used a rubric for a similar assignment. Some examples are also available at the end of this article. These rubrics can be a great starting point for you, but consider steps 3, 4, and 5 below to ensure that the rubric matches your assignment description, learning objectives and expectations.

Step 4: Define the assignment criteria

Make a list of the knowledge and skills are you measuring with the assignment/assessment Refer to your stated learning objectives, the assignment instructions, past examples of student work, etc. for help.

  Helpful strategies for defining grading criteria:

  • Collaborate with co-instructors, teaching assistants, and other colleagues
  • Brainstorm and discuss with students
  • Can they be observed and measured?
  • Are they important and essential?
  • Are they distinct from other criteria?
  • Are they phrased in precise, unambiguous language?
  • Revise the criteria as needed
  • Consider whether some are more important than others, and how you will weight them.

Step 5: Design the rating scale

Most ratings scales include between 3 and 5 levels. Consider the following questions when designing your rating scale:

  • Given what students are able to demonstrate in this assignment/assessment, what are the possible levels of achievement?
  • How many levels would you like to include (more levels means more detailed descriptions)
  • Will you use numbers and/or descriptive labels for each level of performance? (for example 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and/or Exceeds expectations, Accomplished, Proficient, Developing, Beginning, etc.)
  • Don’t use too many columns, and recognize that some criteria can have more columns that others . The rubric needs to be comprehensible and organized. Pick the right amount of columns so that the criteria flow logically and naturally across levels.

Step 6: Write descriptions for each level of the rating scale

Artificial Intelligence tools like Chat GPT have proven to be useful tools for creating a rubric. You will want to engineer your prompt that you provide the AI assistant to ensure you get what you want. For example, you might provide the assignment description, the criteria you feel are important, and the number of levels of performance you want in your prompt. Use the results as a starting point, and adjust the descriptions as needed.

Building a rubric from scratch

For a single-point rubric , describe what would be considered “proficient,” i.e. B-level work, and provide that description. You might also include suggestions for students outside of the actual rubric about how they might surpass proficient-level work.

For analytic and holistic rubrics , c reate statements of expected performance at each level of the rubric.

  • Consider what descriptor is appropriate for each criteria, e.g., presence vs absence, complete vs incomplete, many vs none, major vs minor, consistent vs inconsistent, always vs never. If you have an indicator described in one level, it will need to be described in each level.
  • You might start with the top/exemplary level. What does it look like when a student has achieved excellence for each/every criterion? Then, look at the “bottom” level. What does it look like when a student has not achieved the learning goals in any way? Then, complete the in-between levels.
  • For an analytic rubric , do this for each particular criterion of the rubric so that every cell in the table is filled. These descriptions help students understand your expectations and their performance in regard to those expectations.

Well-written descriptions:

  • Describe observable and measurable behavior
  • Use parallel language across the scale
  • Indicate the degree to which the standards are met

Step 7: Create your rubric

Create your rubric in a table or spreadsheet in Word, Google Docs, Sheets, etc., and then transfer it by typing it into Moodle. You can also use online tools to create the rubric, but you will still have to type the criteria, indicators, levels, etc., into Moodle. Rubric creators: Rubistar , iRubric

Step 8: Pilot-test your rubric

Prior to implementing your rubric on a live course, obtain feedback from:

  • Teacher assistants

Try out your new rubric on a sample of student work. After you pilot-test your rubric, analyze the results to consider its effectiveness and revise accordingly.

  • Limit the rubric to a single page for reading and grading ease
  • Use parallel language . Use similar language and syntax/wording from column to column. Make sure that the rubric can be easily read from left to right or vice versa.
  • Use student-friendly language . Make sure the language is learning-level appropriate. If you use academic language or concepts, you will need to teach those concepts.
  • Share and discuss the rubric with your students . Students should understand that the rubric is there to help them learn, reflect, and self-assess. If students use a rubric, they will understand the expectations and their relevance to learning.
  • Consider scalability and reusability of rubrics. Create rubric templates that you can alter as needed for multiple assignments.
  • Maximize the descriptiveness of your language. Avoid words like “good” and “excellent.” For example, instead of saying, “uses excellent sources,” you might describe what makes a resource excellent so that students will know. You might also consider reducing the reliance on quantity, such as a number of allowable misspelled words. Focus instead, for example, on how distracting any spelling errors are.

Example of an analytic rubric for a final paper

Example of a holistic rubric for a final paper, single-point rubric, more examples:.

  • Single Point Rubric Template ( variation )
  • Analytic Rubric Template make a copy to edit
  • A Rubric for Rubrics
  • Bank of Online Discussion Rubrics in different formats
  • Mathematical Presentations Descriptive Rubric
  • Math Proof Assessment Rubric
  • Kansas State Sample Rubrics
  • Design Single Point Rubric

Technology Tools: Rubrics in Moodle

  • Moodle Docs: Rubrics
  • Moodle Docs: Grading Guide (use for single-point rubrics)

Tools with rubrics (other than Moodle)

  • Google Assignments
  • Turnitin Assignments: Rubric or Grading Form

Other resources

  • DePaul University (n.d.). Rubrics .
  • Gonzalez, J. (2014). Know your terms: Holistic, Analytic, and Single-Point Rubrics . Cult of Pedagogy.
  • Goodrich, H. (1996). Understanding rubrics . Teaching for Authentic Student Performance, 54 (4), 14-17. Retrieved from   
  • Miller, A. (2012). Tame the beast: tips for designing and using rubrics.
  • Ragupathi, K., Lee, A. (2020). Beyond Fairness and Consistency in Grading: The Role of Rubrics in Higher Education. In: Sanger, C., Gleason, N. (eds) Diversity and Inclusion in Global Higher Education. Palgrave Macmillan, Singapore.
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Stay on Top of Tasks with an Effective Assignment Tracker

July 29, 2023 - 7 min read

Wrike Team

With multiple responsibilities and deadlines to juggle, it can become overwhelming to keep track of everything. That's where an effective assignment tracker comes in handy. Let's delve into the importance of an assignment tracker and explore different types to help you find the one that suits your needs. 

Understanding the Importance of an Assignment Tracker

An assignment tracker acts as your personal assistant, helping you manage your workload efficiently and effectively. It serves as a central hub for all your tasks, deadlines, and resources, keeping you on track and accountable. 

Why You Need an Assignment Tracker

One of the primary reasons you need an assignment tracker is to avoid the chaos that comes with disorganization. By having all your assignments and deadlines in one place, you can plan your time effectively and boost productivity.

Imagine this scenario: you have multiple assignments due in the same week, and you're struggling to remember which one is the most urgent. Without an assignment tracker, you might find yourself frantically trying to complete all the work at once, leading to stress and subpar work quality. However, with an assignment tracker, you can easily prioritize your tasks based on their deadlines, allowing you to allocate your time wisely and avoid last-minute rushes.

Another example is having a research paper due at the end of the semester. Using your assignment tracker will help you create milestones for each stage of the project , like selecting a topic, conducting research, outlining, writing drafts, and revising. In addition, breaking down the project into smaller tasks will maintain a sense of organization and let you monitor your progress during the entire process.

Exploring Different Types of Assignment Trackers

Assignment trackers come in various formats, each catering to different preferences and work styles. Let's explore the most common types and their benefits.

Digital Assignment Trackers

A digital assignment tracker is a software or app that allows you to create and manage your assignments electronically. These trackers offer features like reminders, notifications, and the ability to sync across devices, making them highly convenient and accessible. Additionally, digital trackers often provide customizable layouts and advanced filtering options, allowing you to tailor the tracker to your specific needs. What's more, these trackers often provide visual representations of your progress, such as progress bars or completion percentages. These visual cues can serve as motivation and help you gauge how much work you have left to complete.

Paper-Based Assignment Trackers

For those who prefer a tangible approach, a paper-based assignment tracker might be the ideal choice. With a notebook or planner, you can physically write down your tasks, deadlines, and progress. The act of manually writing can help improve memory retention and provide a sense of satisfaction upon completion. You can also customize the layout and design to your liking, via different colors, stickers, or symbols.

However, the lack of automation and reminders makes it crucial to stay disciplined and regularly update this type of tracker. Without digital notifications, it's important to develop a routine of checking and updating your paper-based tracker to ensure you stay on track with your assignments.

Hybrid Assignment Trackers

A hybrid assignment tracker combines the best of both digital and paper-based worlds. This hybrid approach allows you to enjoy the benefits of both formats, keeping your assignments organized on paper while taking advantage of the convenience and flexibility provided by digital tools. For instance, you can use the physical planner to jot down your tasks, deadlines, and progress, enjoying the tactile experience of writing. At the same time, you can utilize a digital calendar or task management app to set reminders, receive notifications, and sync your assignments across devices.

How to Set Up Your Assignment Tracker

Now that you understand the importance of an assignment tracker and have explored different types, it's time to set up your own. Let's dive into the key steps to help you get started.

Choosing the Right Platform for Your Tracker

Depending on your preferences, choose between a digital or paper-based platform. If you're someone who enjoys writing things down and flipping through pages, a paper-based tracker might be the perfect fit for you. On the other hand, if you prefer the convenience of accessing your assignments from anywhere and having the ability to set reminders, a digital platform might be more suitable.

Consider factors such as accessibility, convenience, and personal work style to make an informed decision. Remember, the effectiveness of your tracker relies on your commitment to updating and utilizing it consistently.

Organizing Your Tasks Effectively

Now that you have your platform ready, it's important to establish a clear structure for organizing your tasks. This step is crucial so that you can easily find and prioritize your assignments.

Think of creating categories or sections based on subjects, due dates, or priorities. For example, you could have sections for different subjects like Math, English, and Science. Within each section, you can further break down your assignments based on their due dates or priority levels. This way, you'll have a clear overview of what needs to be done and when.

Setting Priorities within Your Assignment Tracker

Prioritization is key to managing your workload efficiently. With multiple assignments and deadlines looming, it's important to know which tasks require immediate attention. Assign deadlines and priority levels to each task in your tracker. By doing so, you'll be able to focus on the most critical assignments first and keep up with the deadlines.

Using Your Assignment Tracker to Boost Productivity

Now that your assignment tracker is set up, it's time to make the most of it. Here are some tips to help you leverage your tracker for maximum productivity.

Regularly Updating Your Assignment Tracker

An assignment tracker is only as effective as the information you input and maintain. Set aside dedicated time each day or week to update your tracker, verifying that it reflects the most accurate and up-to-date information. This habit of regular updates helps you stay on top of your tasks and allows you to make informed decisions about your workflow. What's more, regular updates enable you to identify patterns and trends in your workload. By analyzing the data in your tracker, you can gain insights into your productivity habits, areas where you may be struggling, and opportunities for improvement. 

Reviewing and Adjusting Your Tracker

Periodically reviewing your assignment tracker is essential so that it remains relevant and aligned with your goals. While regular updates keep your tracker accurate, reviewing its content and structure allows you to assess its effectiveness in supporting your productivity.

During the review process, take the time to evaluate your progress on each task. Are there any assignments that have been lingering for too long? Are there any tasks that can be delegated or eliminated to streamline your workload? By asking yourself these questions, you can identify any bottlenecks or inefficiencies in your workflow and make the necessary adjustments to improve your productivity.

The Connection Between Your Tracker and Time Management

An assignment tracker is closely tied to effective time management . Use your tracker as a tool to allocate and manage your time efficiently. Set realistic deadlines, create time blocks for specific tasks, and track your progress against these timeframes.

When you integrate your assignment tracker with your time management strategies, you create a seamless workflow that maximizes your productivity. You also are able to easily flag down any time management issues, such as underestimating the time required for certain tasks or getting frequently distracted or interrupted during your designated work periods. By recognizing these patterns, you can implement strategies to overcome these obstacles and improve your overall time management skills.

Overall, an effective assignment tracker is a vital tool for staying organized and on top of your tasks. Whether you prefer a digital, paper-based, or hybrid format, the key is to choose the one that aligns with your work style and commit to regular updates. By utilizing your assignment tracker effectively, you can enhance your productivity, reduce stress, and achieve greater success in managing your workload. Get started today and experience the benefits firsthand!

Stay on top of tasks using an effective assignment tracker in Wrike. Start a free trial today for efficient task management that leads to productive operations and successful projects.

Note: This article was created with the assistance of an AI engine. It has been reviewed and revised by our team of experts to ensure accuracy and quality.

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How To Make a Schedule in Excel

How To Make a Schedule in Excel

Creating a schedule in Excel can be a useful way to stay organized and manage your time effectively. Whether you need to plan your work tasks, track project deadlines, or organize personal commitments, Excel provides a versatile platform for scheduling. In this article, we will guide you through the process of making a schedule in Excel, from understanding the basics to advanced techniques and troubleshooting common issues.  Understanding the Basics of Excel Excel is a spreadsheet program developed by Microsoft, widely used for creating and manipulating data in a tabular format. It offers various functions, formulas, and formatting options that make it an ideal tool for scheduling. Key Features of Excel for Scheduling Excel offers several key features that make it suitable for creating schedules. These include: Cells and Ranges: Input data, formulas, and formatting within individual cells or select multiple cells to work with as a range. This allows you to organize your schedule in a logical and structured manner. Formulas and Functions: Excel provides a wide range of mathematical, logical, and text functions that can be used to perform calculations and automate tasks in your schedule. For example, you can use the SUM function to calculate the total hours worked in a week or the IF function to determine whether a task is completed or not. Conditional Formatting: Apply formatting rules based on specified conditions, making it easier to visually analyze your data and highlight important information. For instance, you can use conditional formatting to highlight overdue tasks or to color-code different categories of tasks. Data Validation: Set specific criteria for data input using data validation, so that only valid data is entered into your schedule, reducing the chances of errors and inconsistencies. Charts and Graphs: Excel offers a wide variety of chart types that allow you to visually represent your schedule data. You can create bar charts, line graphs, pie charts, and more to present your schedule information in a clear and understandable manner. Preparing to Create Your Schedule Before diving into Excel, it is essential to prepare and outline your schedule requirements. This will help you structure your schedule effectively and confirm that it meets your specific needs. Defining Your Schedule Requirements Identify the purpose of your schedule and what information it needs to include. Consider factors such as the timeframe, tasks, resources, and any dependencies or constraints that may affect your schedule. Once you have a clear understanding of your schedule requirements, you can start creating a plan. Outline the key elements that need to be included in your schedule and determine the level of detail required for each element. If you prefer, utilize visual representations like Gantt charts. These provide a graphical view of your schedule, allowing you to see the timeline of tasks and how they relate to each other. Also, involve relevant stakeholders in the process. If your schedule involves multiple team members or departments, gather their input so that their needs are taken into account. Gathering Necessary Data Once you have defined your schedule requirements, gather all the necessary data. This may include task lists, deadlines, start and end dates, resource availability, and any other relevant information that will populate your schedule. Collect all the task lists and break them down into smaller, actionable items. Assign deadlines to each task so that they are completed on time. Consider the dependencies between tasks and identify any critical paths that may impact the overall schedule. Then, gather information on resource availability. This includes identifying the team members or resources that will be involved in each task and determining their availability during the scheduled period. Remember to take into account any external factors that may affect your schedule. Are there any holidays or events that could impact the availability of resources or the timeline of tasks? Make a note of these factors and adjust your schedule accordingly. Lastly, think of potentially using tools or software to help you gather and organize your data. Excel, for example, can be a powerful tool for creating and managing schedules. It allows you to input data, perform calculations, and create visual representations of your schedule. Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Schedule in Excel Now that you have your requirements and data ready, let's dive into the step-by-step process of creating a schedule in Excel. Opening a New Excel Worksheet Open a new Excel worksheet to begin creating your schedule. You can choose a blank workbook or explore pre-designed templates available in Excel. When opening a blank workbook, you are presented with a grid-like interface consisting of columns labeled with letters (A, B, C, etc.) and rows labeled with numbers (1, 2, 3, etc.). This grid allows you to organize and manipulate data in a structured manner. Excel also provides a wide range of pre-designed templates that cater to various scheduling needs. These templates come with pre-built formulas, formatting, and layout, which can save you time and effort in creating your schedule from scratch. Setting Up Your Schedule Framework Before inputting your data, it is crucial to set up the framework of your schedule. This includes defining the necessary columns and rows, formatting headers, and setting up any additional sections or elements where your data will be organized. Consider the structure of your schedule and the information you need to track. Determine the columns you require, such as task names, start and end dates, durations, assigned resources, and any other relevant information. In addition to columns, you may also want to create sections or categories to group related tasks. For example, if you are creating a project schedule, you might have sections for different phases or deliverables. Formatting headers is essential for clarity and organization. You can use bold text, different font sizes, and colors to make your headers stand out. Additionally, you can merge cells to create a more visually appealing layout. Inputting Your Data With your schedule framework in place, begin inputting your data according to your defined requirements. Enter task names, start and end dates, durations, assigned resources, and any other relevant information in the appropriate cells or ranges. When entering dates, you can either type them directly into the cells or use Excel's date functions to calculate dates based on other values. Excel provides various date formats, allowing you to display dates in a way that suits your preference. For durations, you can enter them in the desired time units, such as hours, days, or weeks. Excel also allows you to perform calculations on durations, making it easy to track the total duration of a project or calculate the remaining time for a task. Assigning resources to tasks can be done by entering the names of individuals or teams responsible for each task. You can also use formulas to calculate resource allocations based on workload or availability. Formatting Your Schedule for Clarity To enhance readability and clarity, apply formatting techniques to your schedule. Utilize font styles, cell borders, colors, and conditional formatting to highlight important information, distinguish different sections, and make your schedule visually appealing. Font styles can be utilized to emphasize critical tasks or highlight milestones. You can make them bold, italic, or even change the font color to draw attention. Cell borders can help create clear boundaries between different sections or categories in your schedule. You can add borders to specific cells or ranges, or apply them to entire rows or columns. Colors can be used to differentiate different types of tasks or to indicate progress. For example, you can use green for completed tasks, yellow for ongoing tasks, and red for overdue tasks. Conditional formatting is a powerful feature in Excel that allows you to automatically apply formatting based on specific conditions. For instance, you can highlight tasks that are behind schedule or nearing their deadlines. Advanced Excel Scheduling Techniques Once you have mastered the basics, you can explore advanced techniques to make your Excel schedule even more efficient and powerful. Using Excel Formulas for Efficient Scheduling Excel offers a wide range of formulas and functions that can automate calculations, determine task dependencies, and generate dynamic schedules. Learning to use formulas effectively can significantly enhance your scheduling capabilities. Implementing Conditional Formatting Conditional formatting allows you to automatically apply formatting rules based on specific conditions. By using conditional formatting, you can highlight tasks with approaching deadlines, identify critical path activities, or flag any schedule deviations. Troubleshooting Common Issues in Excel Scheduling Even with the best preparation and knowledge, you may encounter some common issues when creating schedules in Excel. Let's explore some troubleshooting tips to help you address these issues. Resolving Formula Errors If you encounter formula errors in your schedule, such as #REF!, #VALUE!, or #DIV/0!, it is essential to understand the source of the error and correct it. Double-check your formulas, ensure the correct referencing of cells, and resolve any circular references. Addressing Formatting Issues Sometimes, your schedule formatting may not behave as expected, causing misaligned data, overlapping cells, or inconsistent styles. To address formatting issues, carefully review your formatting rules, adjust cell dimensions, and reapply formatting techniques if necessary. With these tips and techniques, you now have the knowledge to create schedules in Excel with confidence. Whether you are managing personal tasks or complex projects, Excel provides the flexibility and power to help you stay organized and meet deadlines effectively. Learn to create schedules in Excel effectively using Wrike's robust scheduling features. Sign up for your free trial and optimize your task management for improved productivity. Note: This article was created with the assistance of an AI engine. It has been reviewed and revised by our team of experts to ensure accuracy and quality.

Craft Your Path Forward: Tips for Creating a Success Plan Template

Craft Your Path Forward: Tips for Creating a Success Plan Template

Creating a success plan template is an essential step towards achieving your goals, both personally and professionally. In this article, we will explore the importance of a success plan, the key elements it should include, and provide you with a step-by-step guide to creating your own success plan template. We will also share some valuable tips for staying motivated and committed to your plan. Understanding the Importance of a Success Plan A success plan acts as a guiding light, providing you with clarity and direction. It helps you identify your priorities, set achievable goals, and make informed decisions. Without a plan, you may find yourself wandering aimlessly without a clear purpose. A success plan keeps you focused and enables you to track your progress effectively. You will be able to break your goals into smaller, more manageable tasks and execute your plan to achieve your objectives. Why Every Individual Needs a Success Plan Whether you are a student, a professional, or an entrepreneur, having a success plan is essential for taking control of your future and maximizing your potential. For an entrepreneur starting a new business, a success plan would involve conducting market research, identifying target customers, developing a marketing strategy, and creating a financial plan. This plan would outline the steps needed to establish and grow the business, including securing funding, hiring employees, and building a customer base.  Even for individuals who are not pursuing specific goals, a success plan can provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment. It can involve personal development activities such as reading, learning new skills, or pursuing hobbies and interests. By setting aside dedicated time for personal growth, individuals can enhance their knowledge, broaden their horizons, and enrich their lives. Key Elements of a Successful Plan Template Now that we understand the importance of a success plan, let's discuss the key elements that should be included in your plan template. Setting Clear and Achievable Goals The first step in creating a success plan is setting clear and achievable goals. Your goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). By defining your goals in this manner, you set yourself up for success and ensure that your efforts are focused and directed towards achieving them. For example, if your goal is to increase sales for your business, a clear and achievable goal could be to increase sales by 10% within the next six months. Identifying Potential Challenges and Solutions While setting your goals, it is important to identify potential challenges that you may encounter on your path to success. By brainstorming and anticipating these challenges, you can come up with effective solutions in advance. For instance, if one of your goals is to improve your fitness level, you may anticipate challenges such as lack of time, motivation, or access to a gym. Now, you can develop solutions such as scheduling specific workout times, finding a workout buddy for motivation, or exploring alternative workout options like home workouts or outdoor activities. Incorporating Regular Reviews and Adjustments A successful success plan template requires regular reviews and adjustments. By regularly evaluating your progress, you can determine if any changes or modifications are required. For example, if your goal is to write a book, you can set regular review periods to assess your progress. During these reviews, you can evaluate your writing output, identify any challenges you may be facing, and make necessary adjustments to your writing schedule or approach. Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Your Success Plan Template Now that we have covered the key elements, let's walk through a step-by-step guide to help you create your success plan template. Defining Your Personal or Professional Goals Start by defining your personal or professional goals. What is it that you want to achieve? Is it a promotion at work, starting your own business, or improving your health and well-being? Whatever it may be, take the time to reflect on your aspirations and write them down. When defining your goals, it's important to be specific. Instead of saying, "I want to be successful," specify what success means to you. Is it earning a certain income, having a fulfilling career, or making a positive impact in your community? Additionally, ensure that your goals align with your values. Ask yourself if they are in line with who you are and what you believe in. When your goals are aligned with your values, you are more likely to stay motivated and committed to achieving them. Mapping Out Your Path to Success With your goals in place, it's time to map out the path to your success. Begin by identifying the milestones you need to reach along the way. These milestones act as checkpoints, helping you gauge your progress and stay on track. Once you have identified your milestones, determine the actions required to achieve each one. Break down your plan into actionable steps, verifying that each step contributes to your overall goal. Consider the resources, skills, and support you may need to accomplish each step successfully. It's also important to prioritize your steps based on their importance and urgency. Some tasks may require immediate attention, while others can be tackled later. By prioritizing your steps, you can focus your time and energy on what matters most. Implementing Your Success Plan As you work on your success plan, it's essential to monitor your progress regularly. This allows you to assess how well your plan is working and make adjustments if needed. Stay flexible and open to change, as your journey towards success may require course corrections along the way. During this implementation phase, it's important to stay committed to your plan. There may be times when you face challenges or setbacks, but remember that perseverance is key. Stay motivated by reminding yourself of the reasons why you set these goals in the first place. Tips for Staying Motivated and Committed to Your Success Plan Creating a success plan is just the beginning; staying motivated and committed to your plan is equally important. Here are some tips to help you stay on track: Celebrating Small Wins Along the Way Recognizing and celebrating your achievements, no matter how small, is an essential part of staying motivated and committed to your success plan. It's like fuel for your journey, replenishing your energy and enthusiasm. These celebrations can take many forms, from treating yourself to something you enjoy, sharing your accomplishments with friends and family, or simply taking a moment to reflect on how far you've come. Dealing with Setbacks and Learning from Them On the road to success, setbacks are inevitable. They may come in the form of unexpected challenges, failures, or moments of doubt. However, it's important to view these setbacks not as failures but as valuable learning opportunities. Take a step back and analyze the situation. Understand the root causes, evaluate what went wrong, and learn from the experience.  Overall, crafting a success plan template is a crucial step towards achieving your goals. A success plan provides clarity, direction, and accountability, helping you stay focused and motivated along your journey. By incorporating key elements such as setting clear goals, identifying challenges, and incorporating regular reviews, you can create a solid plan template. Remember to stay committed, celebrate small wins, learn from setbacks, and draw inspiration from real-life success stories. Get ready to craft your path forward and unlock your full potential! Carve out your path to success using Wrike's practical guide on creating a success plan template. Begin a free trial and motivate your team with clear, achievable goals to boost business performance. Note: This article was created with the assistance of an AI engine. It has been reviewed and revised by our team of experts to ensure accuracy and quality.

Leveraging a Time Management Matrix for Enhanced Productivity

Leveraging a Time Management Matrix for Enhanced Productivity

In today's fast-paced world, where time seems to slip through our fingers like sand, finding ways to enhance productivity has become crucial. One powerful tool that can help us conquer the daily chaos and make the most of our time is the Time Management Matrix. Understanding the concept and implementing it in our daily lives can revolutionize the way we work and live. Understanding the Concept of a Time Management Matrix A Time Management Matrix functions as a tool that helps us categorize tasks based on their urgency and importance, allowing us to prioritize effectively. The idea behind this matrix is that not all tasks are created equal, and by focusing on the right tasks, we can achieve better results in less time.  This matrix is divided into four quadrants, which will be further discussed later in this article. Quadrant 1: Urgent and Important  Quadrant 2: Not Urgent but Important  Quadrant 3: Urgent but Not Important  Quadrant 4: Not Urgent and Not Important  The Origins of the Time Management Matrix The concept of the Time Management Matrix was popularized by Stephen Covey, author of the bestselling book "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People." Covey developed this matrix as a way to help individuals prioritize their tasks and make decisions that align with their goals and values. He recognized that many people struggle with time management and often find themselves caught up in the urgency of day-to-day tasks. He believed that by using a systematic approach to categorize tasks, individuals could break free from the cycle of busyness and focus on what truly matters. Since its introduction, the Time Management Matrix has become a widely recognized and utilized tool for people and organizations seeking to improve their productivity and achieve their goals. It provides a framework for making conscious choices about how we spend our time and helps us develop a sense of control over our tasks and responsibilities. The Four Quadrants of the Time Management Matrix The Time Management Matrix consists of four quadrants, each representing a different category of tasks. Let's explore each quadrant to gain a deeper understanding of how they can impact our productivity: Quadrant I: Urgent and Important Tasks Quadrant I represents tasks that are both urgent and important. These are tasks that require immediate attention and directly contribute to our goals and priorities. Examples include meeting deadlines, resolving emergencies, and addressing critical issues. Spending too much time in this quadrant, however, can lead to burnout and a constant state of crisis management. When we find ourselves constantly firefighting in Quadrant I, it's essential to take a step back and assess why these tasks are becoming urgent. Are there underlying issues that need to be addressed to prevent them from becoming emergencies in the future? Identify the root causes and implementing proactive measures to reduce the time spent in Quadrant I and create a more balanced approach to our work.  Quadrant II: Important but Not Urgent Tasks Quadrant II consists of tasks that are important but not urgent. These tasks often get overshadowed by urgent matters, but focusing on them is crucial for long-term success. Examples include planning, goal-setting, skill development, and investing in relationships. Spending more time in this quadrant can lead to proactive and strategic decision-making. While Quadrant II tasks may not have immediate deadlines or consequences, they contribute significantly to our personal and professional growth. Allocate dedicated time to these tasks to prevent them from becoming urgent and reduce the time spent in Quadrant I. Additionally, these tasks require discipline and self-motivation. Without clear priorities and boundaries, it's easy to get caught up in the urgency of Quadrant I and neglect the important but not urgent tasks. Try to set aside specific blocks of time for Quadrant II activities and treat them as non-negotiable commitments. Quadrant III: Urgent but Not Important Tasks Quadrant III encompasses tasks that are urgent but not important. These tasks often demand our attention and create a false sense of urgency. They are distractions that don't align with our goals and values. Examples include unnecessary meetings, unimportant emails, and interruptions that prevent us from focusing on meaningful work. Minimizing time spent in this quadrant is key to maintaining focus and productivity. What's more, delegating or outsourcing Quadrant III tasks can free up valuable time and energy. Identifying tasks that can be handled by others, automating certain processes, or setting up efficient systems can help us minimize the time spent in Quadrant III and create space for Quadrant II activities. Quadrant IV: Neither Urgent nor Important Tasks Quadrant IV represents tasks that are neither urgent nor important. These tasks are time-wasters and provide no real value. These tempting and instantly gratifying activities include mindless social media scrolling, excessive TV watching, and aimless browsing. Avoiding or minimizing time spent in this quadrant is crucial for maximizing productivity and achieving our goals. It's important to note that occasional breaks and leisure activities are essential for maintaining a healthy work-life balance. However, distinguishing between necessary downtime and mindless time-wasting is important. Make time for relaxation and leisure activities so that you can recharge and rejuvenate without falling into the trap of Quadrant IV. The Benefits of Using a Time Management Matrix Implementing a Time Management Matrix offers numerous benefits that can significantly enhance our productivity and overall satisfaction. Let's explore some of the key advantages: Increased productivity: Focus on high-priority tasks and avoid wasting time on trivial matters. This will give you a sense of accomplishment, as you get more done in less time. Better tasks prioritization: Methodically assess each task's importance and allocate time accordingly. Improved work-life balance: Carving out time for your important but not urgent tasks (Quadrant II) will allow you to work on your personal growth, self-care, and relationships with loved ones. Nurturing your well-being puts you in better shape, physically and mentally, to perform better at work. Implementing the Time Management Matrix in Your Daily Life Now that we understand the concept and benefits of the Time Management Matrix, let's explore how to implement it effectively in our daily lives: Identifying Your Tasks The first step is to identify all the tasks on your plate. Take a moment to brainstorm and create a comprehensive list of everything you need to accomplish. This will serve as the foundation for categorizing your tasks using the Time Management Matrix. Allocating Your Tasks to the Appropriate Quadrants Once you have your list of tasks, it's time to assign each task to the appropriate quadrant. Consider the level of urgency and importance for each task and place it in the corresponding quadrant. This will provide you with a visual representation of how your time is currently being allocated. Managing Your Time According to the Matrix Now that you have categorized your tasks, it's essential to manage your time in alignment with the matrix. Prioritize tasks in Quadrant I, but also dedicate ample time to Quadrant II tasks, as these are often neglected but critical for long-term success. Minimize time spent in Quadrants III and IV to avoid distractions and time-wasting activities. Ultimately, leveraging the Time Management Matrix can have a profound impact on our productivity and overall well-being. By understanding the concept, embracing its benefits, and implementing it in our daily lives, we can find a sense of control amidst the chaos and achieve our goals with greater efficiency. Enhance your productivity with Wrike's intuitive time management matrix. Start a free trial today and systematically prioritize tasks to effectively manage your time and resources. Note: This article was created with the assistance of an AI engine. It has been reviewed and revised by our team of experts to ensure accuracy and quality.

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Analysis of a Business Environment: Coffee and Cake Ltd (CC Ltd)

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Assessment of British Airways Social Media Posts

Critical annotation, global business environment (reflective report assignment), global marketing strategies, incoterms, ex (exw), free (fob, fca), cost (cpt, cip), delivery …., it systems strategy – the case of oxford university, management and organisation in global environment, marketing plan for “b airlines”, prepare a portfolio review and remedial options and actions …., systematic identification, analysis, and assessment of risk …., the exploratory problem-solving play and growth mindset for …..

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Navy expands enlisted billet-based advancement policy to new ratings

The Navy is expanding the Detailing Marketplace Assignment Policy , the enlisted career management tool for reducing manning gaps at sea, to sailors in the damage controlman and aviation boatswain’s mate ratings.

The Detailing Marketplace Assignment Policy, known as DMAP , allows sailors in sea-intensive ratings E-6 and below who wrap up a four-year apprentice sea tour to receive certain benefits and promote if they sign on to another three-year sea tour.

Sailors must complete a Rating Knowledge Exam in March, which upon passage, allows them to compete for higher billets starting in June by applying for jobs in the MyNavy Assignment marketplace, or if their commanding officer taps them for an open billet.

“Once matched to a billet at the next higher rank, the Sailor must obligate service to complete the full tour at the new rank in the new billet via extension or reenlistment, as necessary, and may be frocked 30 days prior to transfer,” the NAVADMIN said. “Sailors will be advanced by the gaining command upon arrival in the new billet and after completion of any required training.”

Whereas other phases of DMAP focused on the promotion from E-4 to E-5, this latest rollout focuses on the promotion to E-5 and E-6 in those two ratings, said Rear Adm. James Waters III, director of the Military Personnel Plans and Policy Division.

That will also pave the way for when the Navy unveils the final stage of DMAP for Operations Specialist (OS) and Fire Controlman- AEGIS (FCA) ratings, which have a longer training pipeline than most other ratings.

Sailors who sign up for 3-year journeyman sea tours to get bonus pay

As a result, sailors in those ratings promote to E-5 more quickly than others and the Navy loses the ability to use promoting to E-5 as an incentive, Waters said.

Although both ratings had a very high overall fill, sea duty fill only reached roughly 80 percent – causing some imbalances in the rating, with more sailors ashore than should be, Waters said. Introducing DMAP to those ratings aims to incentivize more of those sailors to serve at sea.

“This is why we think this system – where you’re incentivizing the billets that you want filled – with the opportunity to advance will shift that bias back towards sea,” Waters told reporters.

DMAP is accompanied by incentive bonuses ranging from $200 to $800 a month – depending upon the location and type of sea duty – averaging out to approximately $500 a month.

Ratings already eligible for benefits under DMAP include:

Aviation boatswain’s mate (launch/recovery)

Aviation boatswain’s mate (fuel)

Aviation boatswain’s mate (aircraft handling)

Electrician’s mate

Aviation structural mechanic (safety equipment)

Quartermaster (surface warfare)

Aviation ordnanceman

Gunner’s mate

Gas turbine system technicians (mechanical)

Culinary specialist

Machinist’s mate

Interior communications electrician

Retail services specialist

The Navy first rolled out DMAP in December 2021 to gradually replace Sea Shore Flow, which dictated that sea tours were a maximum of five years and allowed sailors the option to extend. But the policy led to gaps at sea and caused challenges in implementing circadian rhythm watch bills, degraded materiel readiness and limited training times, the Navy said.

As a result, DMAP eliminated the maximum sea duty tour length constraint.

DMAP is one of several initiatives underway aimed at filling gaps at sea, along with efforts like the Senior Enlisted Marketplace the Navy rolled out last year.

The Senior Enlisted Marketplace Screening Board conducts screenings of board-eligible E-8s who, if selected, gain access to the marketplace to apply for a qualified billet.

Sailors have 24-months to enter one of 10 of the MyNavy Assignment cycles to apply for a list of jobs in the marketplace aligned with their ratings.

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Navy expands enlisted billet-based advancement policy to new ratings

assignment based

The Navy is expanding the Detailing Marketplace Assignment Policy , the enlisted career management tool for reducing manning gaps at sea, to sailors in the damage controlman and aviation boatswain’s mate ratings.

The Detailing Marketplace Assignment Policy, known as DMAP , allows sailors in sea-intensive ratings E-6 and below who wrap up a four-year apprentice sea tour to receive certain benefits and promote if they sign on to another three-year sea tour.

Sailors must complete a Rating Knowledge Exam in March, which upon passage, allows them to compete for higher billets starting in June by applying for jobs in the MyNavy Assignment marketplace, or if their commanding officer taps them for an open billet.

“Once matched to a billet at the next higher rank, the Sailor must obligate service to complete the full tour at the new rank in the new billet via extension or reenlistment, as necessary, and may be frocked 30 days prior to transfer,” the NAVADMIN said. “Sailors will be advanced by the gaining command upon arrival in the new billet and after completion of any required training.”

Whereas other phases of DMAP focused on the promotion from E-4 to E-5, this latest rollout focuses on the promotion to E-5 and E-6 in those two ratings, said Rear Adm. James Waters III, director of the Military Personnel Plans and Policy Division.

That will also pave the way for when the Navy unveils the final stage of DMAP for Operations Specialist (OS) and Fire Controlman- AEGIS (FCA) ratings, which have a longer training pipeline than most other ratings.

assignment based

Sailors who sign up for 3-year journeyman sea tours to get bonus pay

Benefits include incentive bonuses ranging from $200 to $800 a month..

As a result, sailors in those ratings promote to E-5 more quickly than others and the Navy loses the ability to use promoting to E-5 as an incentive, Waters said.

Although both ratings had a very high overall fill, sea duty fill only reached roughly 80 percent – causing some imbalances in the rating, with more sailors ashore than should be, Waters said. Introducing DMAP to those ratings aims to incentivize more of those sailors to serve at sea.

“This is why we think this system – where you’re incentivizing the billets that you want filled – with the opportunity to advance will shift that bias back towards sea,” Waters told reporters.

DMAP is accompanied by incentive bonuses ranging from $200 to $800 a month – depending upon the location and type of sea duty – averaging out to approximately $500 a month.

Ratings already eligible for benefits under DMAP include:

  • Aviation boatswain’s mate (launch/recovery)
  • Aviation boatswain’s mate (fuel)
  • Aviation boatswain’s mate (aircraft handling)
  • Electrician’s mate
  • Aviation structural mechanic (safety equipment)
  • Quartermaster (surface warfare)
  • Aviation ordnanceman
  • Gunner’s mate
  • Gas turbine system technicians (mechanical)
  • Culinary specialist
  • Machinist’s mate
  • Interior communications electrician
  • Retail services specialist

The Navy first rolled out DMAP in December 2021 to gradually replace Sea Shore Flow, which dictated that sea tours were a maximum of five years and allowed sailors the option to extend. But the policy led to gaps at sea and caused challenges in implementing circadian rhythm watch bills, degraded materiel readiness and limited training times, the Navy said.

As a result, DMAP eliminated the maximum sea duty tour length constraint.

DMAP is one of several initiatives underway aimed at filling gaps at sea, along with efforts like the Senior Enlisted Marketplace the Navy rolled out last year.

The Senior Enlisted Marketplace Screening Board conducts screenings of board-eligible E-8s who, if selected, gain access to the marketplace to apply for a qualified billet.

Sailors have 24-months to enter one of 10 of the MyNavy Assignment cycles to apply for a list of jobs in the marketplace aligned with their ratings.

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Help | Advanced Search

Computer Science > Artificial Intelligence

Title: optimal task assignment and path planning using conflict-based search with precedence and temporal constraints.

Abstract: The Multi-Agent Path Finding (MAPF) problem entails finding collision-free paths for a set of agents, guiding them from their start to goal locations. However, MAPF does not account for several practical task-related constraints. For example, agents may need to perform actions at goal locations with specific execution times, adhering to predetermined orders and timeframes. Moreover, goal assignments may not be predefined for agents, and the optimization objective may lack an explicit definition. To incorporate task assignment, path planning, and a user-defined objective into a coherent framework, this paper examines the Task Assignment and Path Finding with Precedence and Temporal Constraints (TAPF-PTC) problem. We augment Conflict-Based Search (CBS) to simultaneously generate task assignments and collision-free paths that adhere to precedence and temporal constraints, maximizing an objective quantified by the return from a user-defined reward function in reinforcement learning (RL). Experimentally, we demonstrate that our algorithm, CBS-TA-PTC, can solve highly challenging bomb-defusing tasks with precedence and temporal constraints efficiently relative to MARL and adapted Target Assignment and Path Finding (TAPF) methods.

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IMAGES

  1. Assignment based evaluation Vs Exam based evaluation

    assignment based

  2. Standards-Based Grading Versus Traditional Assignment Based Grading

    assignment based

  3. Transparent Assignment Design

    assignment based

  4. Assignment Overview

    assignment based

  5. Upload Your Assignment

    assignment based

  6. Assignment based learning

    assignment based

VIDEO

  1. Assignment 0

  2. Assignment 2 Submission PROBLEM BASED LEARNING:WHAT HAPPEN TO OUR ENVIRONMENT?

COMMENTS

  1. Assignment based evaluation Vs Exam based evaluation

    An assignment-based evaluation or an exam-based evaluation. Research and records indicate that, over the last 40 years in the United Kingdom and other nations, the assignment-based evaluation or completion of the module assessment of higher education coursework (postgraduate, Master's & Ph.D.) has significantly enhanced.

  2. Assignment Based Versus Unseen Exams, Better Or Just Different?

    Katherine Beadle Formative assessment has its strength, where students are being assessed using feedback based on the answers they have provided in exams. This helps improve student achievement and promote better learning outcomes. They learn to identify their strengths and weaknesses based on standardize test scores.

  3. Assignment-based vs examination-based evaluation systems

    An assignment is a written or digitally created piece of academic work. It forces a learner to learn, practice, and demonstrate their progress and achievements in academics. An assignment-based evaluation system considers assignments written by the learners as the measure of learning, as opposed to an examination-based evaluation system.

  4. Designing Assignments for Learning

    Engage in a community-partnered research project; Create an exhibit, performance, or conference presentation; Compile and reflect on their work through a portfolio/e-portfolio.

  5. Understanding Assignments

    Basic beginnings Regardless of the assignment, department, or instructor, adopting these two habits will serve you well: Read the assignment carefully as soon as you receive it. Do not put this task off—reading the assignment at the beginning will save you time, stress, and problems later.

  6. Assignment-based or Exam-based: What's Best For You?

    Many argued that students today are more suited for an assignment-based curriculum as compared with the traditional British unseen exams model. In this video...

  7. Alternatives to Traditional Exams and Papers

    If you are willing to think creatively about assignments that go beyond traditional exams or research papers, you may be able to design assignments that are more accurate reflections of the kind of thinking and problem-solving you want your students to engage in. In addition, non-traditional assignments can boost students' motivation.

  8. Assignment based learning

    Assignment based learning LSBR's unique approach to learning Unique Assessment Strategy London School of Business and Research (LSBR), Assessment Strategy includes Assignment based learning. Assignments and assessment are important aspects of learning. Completing an assignment is an opportunity to demonstrate your achievement.

  9. Assignment Based Learning

    Apply now Assignment Based Learning London School of International Business (LSIB) uses an assessment strategy which includes assignment-based learning. We believe in assignments and assessments as a key aspects of learning: completing an assignment is an opportunity to demonstrate your achievements.

  10. Differentiated Instruction Strategies: Tiered Assignments

    Tiered assignments can also be differentiated based on product. Teachers can use the Howard Gardner's multiple intelligences to form groups that will hone particular skills for particular learning styles. For example, one group would be bodily/kinesthetic, and their task is to create and act out a skit. Another group would be visual/spatial ...

  11. 10 Types of Assignments in Online Degree Programs

    Here are 10 types of assignments you may encounter in online courses. Next: Read or Watch, Then Respond 2 / 12 Credit Read or Watch, Then Respond An instructor provides a recorded lecture,...

  12. Step-by-step Guide to Create Competency-Based Assignments as an

    In addition to traditional assessment tool such as multiple-choice questions, 17 new assessment techniques like competency-based E-assignments 18 and use of a wide range of assessment methods 12 ...

  13. Writing Assignments

    Writing Assignments Kate Derrington; Cristy Bartlett; and Sarah Irvine. Figure 19.1 Assignments are a common method of assessment at university and require careful planning and good quality research. Image by Kampus Production used under CC0 licence. Introduction. Assignments are a common method of assessment at university and require careful planning and good quality research.

  14. Alignment of your assessments and learning objectives

    Using a Bloom's Taxonomy wheel (like this example from Dr. Ashley Tan) can help instructors generate ideas for different assignments based on the level of knowledge or skill the learning objective is aiming for. Resources Other Resources. Dee Fink & Associates - A Working, Self-Study Guide to Designing Courses for Significant Learning ...

  15. ASSIGNMENT

    ASSIGNMENT definition: 1. a piece of work given to someone, typically as part of their studies or job: 2. a job that…. Learn more.

  16. Creating Assignments

    For example, if an instructor's final assignment is a research project that requires students to evaluate a technological solution to an environmental problem, earlier assignments should reinforce component skills, including the ability to identify and discuss key environmental issues, apply evaluative criteria, and find appropriate research ...

  17. Step-by-step Guide to Create Competency-Based Assignments as an

    Assignment in a school that adopts a clinical presentation curriculum would be different from assignments in a school that adopts problem-based learning for example. One more important aspect to consider is the availability of inter-disciplinary cooperation with other institutes, schools, or bodies as this will provide the designed assignments ...

  18. Resources for Teachers: Creating Writing Assignments

    It mirrors the approach to written work in many professions. The concept of sequencing writing assignments also allows for a wide range of options in creating the assignment. It is often beneficial to have students submit the components suggested below to your course's STELLAR web site. Use the writing process itself.

  19. Assignment

    Assignment is a task given to students by a teacher or professor, usually as a means of assessing their understanding and application of course material. Assignments can take various forms, including essays, research papers, presentations, problem sets, lab reports, and more. Assignments are typically designed to be completed outside of class ...

  20. Evidence-Based Assignments

    Evidence-based assignments, by their very nature, require students to locate and assess the available evidence. These are skills which we as librarians practice and teach about regularly. Involving the Library at the planning stages will help us ensure that we have the resources and time to devote to supporting your course assignments.

  21. Key Components of Assignment Prompts

    Assignment prompts not only allow students to demonstrate what they have learned about a topic, process, or practice, they also help students understand the purpose of an assignment and how their instructor will assess their work. ... The Transparency in Learning and Teaching project provides a series of research-based templates for assignment ...

  22. Rubric Best Practices, Examples, and Templates

    Step 1: Define the Purpose The first step in the rubric-creation process is to define the purpose of the assignment or assessment for which you are creating a rubric. To do this, consider the following questions: What is the assignment? Does the assignment break down into different or smaller tasks?

  23. Assignment Based Jobs, Employment

    Assignment Based jobs. Sort by: relevance - date. 257,405 jobs. Staff Pharmacist - 10048. Hiring multiple candidates. CVS Health 3.2. ... Ability to work 12-hour shifts, including shift assignments during non-standard business hours that may include evening, nighttime, weekends and/or holidays. Posted Posted 1 day ago.

  24. Task Mastery: Using an Assignment Tracker Effectively

    Overall, an effective assignment tracker is a vital tool for staying organized and on top of your tasks. Whether you prefer a digital, paper-based, or hybrid format, the key is to choose the one that aligns with your work style and commit to regular updates. By utilizing your assignment tracker effectively, you can enhance your productivity ...

  25. Academic Assignment Samples and Examples

    Start by selecting the essential aspects that need to be included in your assignment. Based on what you understand from the assignment in question, evaluate the critical points that should be made. If the task is research-based, discuss your aims and objectives, research method, and results. For an argumentative essay, you need to construct ...

  26. Navy expands enlisted billet-based advancement policy to new ratings

    The Navy is expanding the Detailing Marketplace Assignment Policy, the enlisted career management tool for reducing manning gaps at sea, to sailors in the damage controlman and aviation boatswain's mate ratings.. The Detailing Marketplace Assignment Policy, known as DMAP, allows sailors in sea-intensive ratings E-6 and below who wrap up a four-year apprentice sea tour to receive certain ...

  27. Cooperative task allocation method for multi‐unmanned aerial vehicles

    Based on the description above, it can be inferred that the problem of multi-UAV cooperative task assignment is a combinatorial optimization problem with multiple complex constraints. Due to the complexity of these constraints, finding the optimal solution through analytical methods is challenging.

  28. Navy expands enlisted billet-based advancement policy to new ratings

    The Detailing Marketplace Assignment Policy, known as DMAP, allows sailors in sea-intensive ratings E-6 and below who wrap up a four-year apprentice sea tour to receive certain benefits and ...

  29. Optimal Task Assignment and Path Planning using Conflict-Based Search

    Moreover, goal assignments may not be predefined for agents, and the optimization objective may lack an explicit definition. To incorporate task assignment, path planning, and a user-defined objective into a coherent framework, this paper examines the Task Assignment and Path Finding with Precedence and Temporal Constraints (TAPF-PTC) problem.