You Get What You Give: Designing Effective Writing Assignments
Designing Effective WritingAssignmentsA presentationby Kris Kellejian(CUSP/IAS) & Karen Rosenberg (WACC)University of Washington BothellNov. 15, 2012
Purpose of WorkshopTo provide you with ideas forimproving student writing, wepresent you with• best practices around designing writing assignments,• the opportunity to apply these concepts,• the chance to discuss your own assignment concerns,• access to a variety of resources to help you with future assignment design in your courses.
• Reinforces course learning objectives• Helps students negotiate an important but often mysterious process• Encourages students to respond in a more focused and efficient manner• Promotes reduced time for evaluation and response
• Align assignment and evaluation criteria with course goals and learning objectives• Write out, distribute, and discuss assignment, goals, and evaluation criteria• Break complex assignments into smaller staged tasks• Provide appropriate and varied student and professional models throughout the process• Build in a plan for peer review and revision• Aim for clarity, conciseness, and accessible design
1. Task definition, meaning and sequencing2. Writing processes3. Audience4. Schedule5. AssessmentSee handout “Heuristic for theWriter of Writing Assignments”by Edward M. White
Task Definition Task PurposeWhat do you want the students Example:to do? Use specific words todescribe particular tasks. • This assignment has three goals: for you to (1) see• Examples: define, analyze, how the concepts we’ve describe, argue, reflect, learned thus far can be compare, evaluate, summarize, etc. used in a different field from economics, (2) learnYour assignment is to write how to write about ayour own biographical essay model, and (3) learn toon Mao, by summarizing andexcerpting Mao’s critique a model. (Walk)reminiscences (as told to aWestern journalist), speeches,encyclopedia articles, amedical account from Mao’sphysician, and two
• “Checklist for Designing Writing Assignments.” (IPFW)• “Designing an Effective Writing Assignment:Working Backward from Goals.” (CalState San Marcos)• “Elements of an Effective Writing Assignment.” (Walk)• “Writing for Real.” (Lindblom)
“Designing an Effective Writing Assignment: Working Backwardfrom Goals.” Cal State San Marcos Writing Center. 2012. Web. 10 Nov. 2012.IPFW. “A Checklist for Assignment Sheets in the IPFW Writing Program.” Indiana University Writing Program. Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne. 2012. Web. 10 Nov. 2012.Lindblom, Kenneth. “Writing for Real.” English Journal. 94.1(2004): 104-108. Print.Walk, Kerry. “Elements of an Effective Writing Assignment.” Princeton University Writing Program. Web. 15 Oct. 2012. <http://www.princeton.edu/writing/university/resources/ AssignElements.pdf>.White, Edward M. Assigning, Responding, Evaluating: A Writing Teacher’s Guide. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2007. 7-8.