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Assignments of Note

Assignments of Note

Do the assignments we give our students evolve over the years, or do we trot out the old standbys with minimal change? Do our students experience variety in their assignments, or do they find themselves completing the same kinds of projects—whether in their degree programs or across the curriculum? The bottom line: there’s more we can do with our assignments, and this collection aims to showcase ones that demonstrate innovation and thoughtful attention to design details.

Each Assignment of Note distills the salient points of a scholarly article on a particular assignment and presents them in an easily digestible format. Some even include an update from the author of the original article about what they’ve learned since the journal article was published.

All the assignments featured in this collection

  • address problems and issues that faculty at all types of institutions confront;
  • link the assignment design to relevant research and theory;
  • can be used with different kinds of content and in a wide range of courses;
  • are innovative assignments or creative alternatives to familiar assignments;
  • include all the details necessary for you to recreate the assignment; and
  • have been assessed for effectiveness in some systematic way.

What about your assignments? Are you using any you’re particularly proud of? Ones that students consistently respond to with enthusiasm? Do share them with us. We’d be happy to consider other assignments for inclusion in this collection, even if they’re not discussed in scholarly articles. (If they are based on assignments you found in scholarship, be sure to send us the references.) Remember that our readership crosses disciplines, so we’re interested in assignment ideas and structures that can be used with different kinds of content. Send us your ideas at grg@psu.edu.

—Maryellen Weimer

An Incentive for Note-Taking
The (Mostly) Unmarked Quiz
Taking Notes on the Reading
Responding to Feedback via Cover Letter
The Rotating Note Taker
Post-Exam Review Activity 
The Reading Quiz Shake-up