Assignments

Both graded and ungraded assignments from your on-campus course may need to be revised in order to remain effective in the remote teaching environment, an environment that may have an impact on whether students can use certain resources, such as labs or libraries. The pages in this section will help you ensure that your assignments are truly assessing students’ knowledge of and fluency with your course concepts (the “signal”) and not the circumstances in which they are taking your course (the “noise”), which may pose greater challenges to some students than to others.

College Guidance

  • Courses will be letter-graded in the fall.
  • Courses should include frequent low-stakes assessments and feedback so that both students and teaching staff can track student learning and engagement.
  • Expectations for assignment submission should be explicit—what kind of file, through what portal, by what date, with what exception/late policy, etc.
  • Total student engagement time for your course should average 8-12 hours weekly.

Questions to Ask Yourself When You Review Your Assignments

  1. Can this assignment already accomplish all of its goals essentially without modification (i.e. solely by switching to an online submission)? Even if your answer to this is yes, you can still think about ways to modify it to better suit the remote modality or to increase interactivity.
  2. Are there ways this assignment could better leverage the important relationships in your course? 
  3. Should this assignment be broken up into more steps? Which of the steps should be synchronous or asynchronous?
  4. How will you give feedback to students on this assignment? Will the feedback be auto-generated, given by peers, or given by instructional staff?
  5. How can you anticipate questions and avoid potential confusion? Consider generating an FAQ specifically for the assignment if there are common questions.
  6. Are there examples of student work that you could provide to serve as models?

Once you’ve figured out what needs to be done for each assignment, make a plan for how that will happen. Who on your course team will modify the assignment? How will the modifications be reviewed?