Assignment Details: What if You Provide Too Few?
I am thankful for Jennifer Trainor’s insightful “Assignment Details: What if You Provide Too Many?” She raises what should be a real concern for teaching professors: Am I doing too much for my students? In other words, are teachers compromising student learning when we compose templates, extensive instructions, rubrics, and guidelines to help student navigate our assignments? And are all of these things, what Edward Schuster labels “mythrules”? Trainor fears that when professors remove the ambiguity that occurs naturally in complex problems, we rob students of the opportunity for intellectual growth. She says the “challenge is to find the balance” in helping our students—to define the teaching space that exists between students blindly following teachers’ directions and being confused and directionless.