Surprisingly, some educators have been known to delegate writing jobs to their students without first clarifying, in their minds, what benefits the students might expect to get from the assignment. Teachers should always begin a writing assignment with a specific objective, which should be written down on the assignment sheet.
Writing tasks benefit greatly from a backward approach to planning. What do I want to read when I finish this assignment? This is a question that many teachers ask themselves. Teachers can provide more specific instructions for the writing assignment and the final written product if they start with the end in mind.
These queries concerning the assignment can assist you in making sure that the writing activities are relevant to your course objectives.
-Is there a list of learning outcomes this essay will help you achieve?
-What kind of writing do you think will be more effective in -meeting your educational goals?
-Do you want your students to write to understand the course information, or do you want them to write to acquire the writing conventions of the subject area?
-Is there a logical progression to this task?
As mentioned in the section on the five principles, it is crucial to consider the rhetorical context. By this, professionals in the field of writing emphasize that it is crucial to consider not just the intended readership of the finished piece but also its intended genre, format, and overall context.
One strategy that may help students improve their writing is to set up writing assignments with a reader in mind other than the teacher. After all, most students have plenty of practice writing to teachers, and they understand that instructors have a captive audience. It would be best if you spent close attention to their texts because your job depends on your timely responses to them. According to Chinn and Hilgers (2000), instructors' roles in such situations typically consist only of corrector. Instructors, however, might shift from the role of corrector to that of collaborator by introducing new types of writing assignments, fostering student-instructor partnerships, and stressing the importance of professional contexts for writing.
Therefore, a student's teacher is not always the kind of reader or audience that would inspire them to provide their absolute best effort on a writing assignment. In fact, 56 percent of the interviewees also described one or more nonteacher audiences (328) for their academic work, as reported by Hilgers et al. (1999) in their study of interviews with 33 upper-division students. Students addressed their writing to an individual they think possesses specific content understanding such as a CEO, coworker, or technician, regardless of whether the assignment explicitly stated that students should address their writing to anybody other than the instructor.
The fifth rule of thumb in the overarching section on what constitutes a successful writing assignment? is to divide the work into smaller, more manageable chunks. Many educators address this facet of effective assignment design by seriously considering the order in which assignments are to be completed. Leydens and Santi provide a detailed description of this procedure (2006). This geoscientist and expert writer handles the nitty-gritty of creating assignments that reflect the course's objectives. As they detail their method for critically evaluating course materials, they keep the Less is More principle in mind (pp. 493-497). (For more information, see Lord (2009) and Greasley & Cassidy (2010).)
Assignments that are scaffolded, like the agricultural economics project mentioned in the section on additional resources, assist students in achieving a greater goal by requiring them to acquire resources in phases. Students must then incorporate all of the preceding steps into a finished product. In contrast, students can complete each assignment in a sequence individually, with the knowledge that the skills and challenges they acquire along the way will help them achieve the overall goals of the course. According to Herrington (1997), a well-structured assignment consists of many stages: a preliminary plan for a significant project, an annotated bibliography, an early draught (with a cover note focused on triumphs and obstacles thus far), and a final draught (with the cover note). Similarly, Mulnix and Mulnix (2010) present an argumentation assignment that employs a series of tasks to drill and practice critical thinking skills.
When an assignment is well-designed, students can easily understand what is expected. Writing, researching, and working together are all processes that should be highlighted, as well as any pertinent intermediate assignments and activities, such as subject suggestions or literature reviews for longer assignments. The criteria for grades should be specified on the assignment sheet. Students will better understand the assignment's requirements and potential challenges if they clearly understand what is expected of them. In addition, it is likely to lead to enhanced learning and productivity.