Julia Fischer is an educator turned content developer for Clarity. As a classroom teacher Julia used innovative teaching methods and materials with her middle school students. Julia discovered online learning and took courses which led to facilitating online courses as well as writing content for these courses in multiple platforms. She transitioned to a district level position where she planned, facilitated and supported professional staff development. Read more...
Updating Assignments for a New YearJulia Fischer | January 4, 2011
With each new semester I try to keep my courses fresh and current for both myself and my students. I review assignments that cover the core standards to see how they can be updated to maintain a fresh perspective. For me this process usually starts with a discussion with a colleague. We talk about the past semester and the assignments we had the students complete typically answering the following questions:
- How did the students do?
- Did the assessment work?
- Was the criteria for the assignment clear?
- Did submitting the assignment and giving feedback go as planned?
- How can we make the course better?
Our conversation boils down to a discussion of what worked and didn’t work during the semester which assignments we liked, which are keepers, where we need more scaffolding and assessments for students. Typically we take away from that conversation what assignments we should look into updating for the next semester. Sometimes we even have ideas on new tools or resources to use and explore, other times we explore what is available and see if a new tool can help students better understand the assignments goals and objectives.
The next step is to go and try the tool and see how it works with our Course Management System (CMS). We need to see if students can upload their product, or can they embed it in a discussion or a blog. By working with the tool and the CMS we can easily write instructions and provide guidance for our students.
Just changing one assignment keeps things fresh and students appreciate learning and using new tools to help them complete their work.
So in 2011 I challenge you to review and update at least one assignment.