Creating Assignments
  • More, shorter assignments, quizzes and tests.
  1. Assignments should not be so long that students loose their motivation to begin them.
  2. If a student finishes and assignment quickly they will be more likely to start another on right away.
  3. Students lose energy and motivation after working on something for 20 to 30 minutes, if they go get a drink of water will they start again?
  4. Shorter quizzes don't scare students away from starting them. If you want to find out how much a student knows, just create more short quizzes.
  5. Base quizzes on one short section of the resource materials.
  6. Let students know what parts are important so they know what will be on the quiz.
  7. Test questions should be based on quiz questions. Testing on new items can be frustrating for students.
  8. Allow two different ways for students to take quizzes and test. Paper or electronic.
  9. Grade the tests and quizzes as quicky as you can. Provide students a schedule for when their work will be graded.
  10. Send or Post grades as quicky as you can. If you can post all grades of all students with code numbers students will get a good idea how they compare with the others in the course.
  11. Use electronic grading whenever possible.
  • Organize assignments with a to-do list.
  1. A student should be able to look at their assignment and know exactly what you expect after 1 or 2 minutes of reading.
  2. The list should contain short sentences.
  3. Instructions should be single step if possible.
  4. Use check boxes ahead of each step so a student can track their progress.
  5. The first items in the list should only take the student 1 to 4 minutes to complete.
  6. Save the long steps like "Read pages 3-6" for late in the assignment
  7. Include tests and quizzes in the assignment check-lists.
  8. Include a step at the end to tell the students how to prepare for future tasks.
  9. Assignment should not contain more than 10 items
  10. Avoid interprative to-do items. eg. "Look for information on cells on the Internet."
  • Develop a pattern
  1. Your course should be developed around a series of patterns. This will make it easier for you and the students.
  2. Develop a pattern that you will use for each assingment.
  3. Develop a pattern for each chapter.
  4. Develop a pattern for each quarter.
  5. Develop a pattern for breaking the pattern. (??see 6??)
  6. Good pattern structure helps students complete assignments and begin the next. To keep variety in the course without turning off a student you may plan somthing different at the beginning of each chapter or unit (do this in a pattern).
  7. Prepare the students before you break the pattern.
  8. Return to the pattern as quickly as possible.
  • Limit assignments to 20-30 minutes
  1. Long study guides turn off correspondence students quicker than a date with Rossane Bar.
  2. Students quickly find a way to put something down that will take them longer than 30 minutes to complete.
  3. Assignments that quickly become over half done motivate students to hang in there and get to the end.
  4. Short assignments are much easier to start.
  5. Assignments should not be grouped more than two together before a quiz.
  6. One quiz per assignment is optimal.
  7. Assignment should follow the text order.
  8. It is possible to define an order for the course other than that of the text. Just remember this is one more thing to confuse students and you won't be there to straighten them out.
  9. Make sure students know the reason for each assignment.
  • Each assignment page should contain contact information.
  1. If a student has a question they should not have to dig for you number.
  2. Students are more likely to guess, get a wrong concept, or give up entirely when they are having trouble than dig for an e-mail address or a phone number.
  3. Make sure and include contact information that is correct. They won't try twice!