Assignments and Activities

nuts and bolts arranged in a tray

As you revise your course to take place remotely, consider what want to cover and what kind of structure would facilitate those goals. Limiting lecture time and incorporating activities to allow students to reflect on the material and interact with one another, if possible, can be effective.

Resources like the Online Writing Instruction Community can provide advice as well as examples of assignments and ways to structure a course.

Greg Campbell’s “Digital Engagement” post describes ways to use low-stakes assignments, including quizzes and discussion posts.

Quizzes can prompt students to revisit readings. On Twitter, James Gifford describes how he approaches quizzes:

If the quiz sends them back to the readings (I let them repeat quizzes as much as they like), then it served its purpose. I do 10 questions from a random pool of 30, leaning hard on rewarding task completion.

With higher stakes assignments, consider what you can do to break up the tasks involved and facilitate students’ success completing them. This may also be a moment to tweak the assignments or exams you have planned.

Alison Yang’s “Do This, Not That” post and infographic suggests a “less is more” approach to assigments and encourages instructors to communicate clearly about expectations for assignments.

If you typically have students work in groups or review each other’s work, you may be able to provide a structure for that to happen remotely. Lori Landay describes on Twitter (in two tweets) an approach to larger assignments:

Google Meet is good for synchronous video class meetings. Mozilla Hubs offers virtual rooms accessible on mobile, desktop, across platform, in VR headsets, in browsers. Use both to set up group and independent projects for students to complete with short, medium and long term goals, peer editing/check-ins, iterations of drafts or prototypes, and communication among partners or small groups of students with video and text messages, as well as LMS.

Resources for Assignments and Activities

For those looking to dig further into digital pedagogy, the following publications may offer inspiration as well as specific models to follow: