Developing powerful, clear assignments is one of the most consequential tasks that faculty undertake in their work as educators. Assignment design impacts teaching, learning, and assessment. Widely researched, many considerations go into designing effective assignments.
Generally speaking, assignments should provide practice for one or more of the learning outcomes of the course. Assignments should not only send a signal to students about what the instructor considers worth learning in a course but offer feedback on how well students are meeting expectations. Key assignments in a course may also be aligned with program learning outcomes. For program assessment, faculty-developed assignments may provide more information for improvement, and more valid assessment, than other forms of assessment (such as externally developed standardized tests). But to yield these benefits, assignments must be carefully thought through and designed.
The following resources are provided to assist faculty and departments in designing and refining assignments to more effectively foster and assess student learning, while increasing possibilities for student success. In addition to general suggestions and good practices to consider when creating assignments, ATL provides resources for faculty on particular aspects of assignment design: