The teaching needs of educators or academicians are varied and ever-evolving. Educators the world over are continuously looking for or devising ways to engage learners through innovative activities and tools. When it comes to online education or teaching, the possibilities are abundant, and so are the challenges.
At WizIQ, we have always stepped up to the challenges, tapped opportunities and adapted ourselves to the changing online education landscape, to make online teaching a more rewarding endeavor for you. To this end, we have continuously upgraded our platform to make online education more holistic for both educators and learners.
We recently introduced the Course Assignment feature on WizIQ, which allows educators to create course assignments for learners, thereby enabling educators to evaluate the learners’ understanding of a subject or course in a comprehensive manner.
What’s in it for Educators?
As an educator, you have access to the following Course Assignment features:
Creating an Assignment for Learners:
Once you are on your WizIQ course page, you can add an assignment (see Figure 1.1) to your course. The feature allows you to add or upload relevant files to your assignment. You can either set a due date and time for the assignment or choose not to set a deadline for submission. In addition, you can add a suitable description to your assignment for the understanding of your course learners. When you create an assignment, it automatically gets added to your course.
Notifying the Learners: The course learners are notified of the new assignment created by you through an automated email notification that has details of the assignment. This happens as soon as you create an assignment. You don’t need to inform the learners about the new assignment.
Submission Reminders: With submission reminders, you can be assured that your learners are not likely to forget the submission due date and time. When the assignment due date is approaching, an automated email reminder is sent to all the course learners prompting them to make a submission on or before the due date. A submission reminder is sent to the learners a day before the due date.
Reviewing the Submissions: The course provider or instructor receives an email notification when a learner submits a completed assignment. You can review the assignment once a course learner makes a submission. The course learners can view the assignment and access the assignment files uploaded by you. They can make a submission by uploading relevant files and inputting text. You can review the submission, including the files uploaded by the learners, and provide your feedback on the submission, which can be viewed by the respective learners.
Discussion with Learners: The Discussion feature of Course Assignment enables you to have a discussion with individual learners about the assignment. You can share additional notes, useful inputs or tips, discuss the submission with the learners and much more. The discussion that happens between you and an individual learner can’t be viewed by other course learners, which allows you to keep the discussions discrete and give specific feedback or inputs to the learners.
To get a better idea about the various features of Course Assignment, watch the video below:
We hope that the Course Assignment feature will improve the way you engage your learners and deliver your courses. We will be adding more features to WizIQ as we go along. So, keep watching this space for more updates.
Moreover, we would love to hear from you about the Course Assignment feature. You can also let us know if you would want any new features to be added to WizIQ. You can submit your ideas and suggestions here.
If you have any questions, or wish to provide feedback, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ajay is part of the Marketing Team at WizIQ. He likes to read and write poetry. He dabbles in photography every now and then. In addition, he has a passion for words and music.
Guide for preparing a strong writing assignment
As opposed to informal or exploratory writing often undertaken to informally investigate ideas, practice concepts, work through problems and/or reflect on processes, formal writing projects require sustained effort, multiple drafts and some sort of finished prose. In order to engage students in learning experiences commensurate with the goals of your course, writing assignments must be developed carefully and thoughtfully. The following guide for creating strong writing assignments has been adapted from Chapter 5 of Bean’s Engaging Ideas:
- Before you create an assignment, consider the kind of writing you want students to produce. What do you want them to accomplish through this writing project? Do you want them to learn course material through writing, to write to demonstrate knowledge of course material, to practice or demonstrate writing conventions in your discipline? How does the assignment support the learning goals central to your course?
- Consider what thinking and writing processes you want students to undertake. How will your assignment create a rhetorical situation—audience, purpose, context, role of student writer, format or genre, and other parameters to guide students as they write?
- How might you design and sequence steps to move students through the process of the assignment and what kinds of informal writing assignments or activities will you use to support students as they work?
- Now that you’ve thought about the purpose and scope of the writing assignment, create a written document for students describing what you want them to do. A strong writing assignment handout includes the following:
- Task: What issue, question, or problem will students address in their writing? What is the purpose of the writing? In what form/genre should it be presented? What are the formatting requirements for this writing task?
- Audience: Who is the audience for students’ writing? You, the teacher? Their peers? Specialists in the field? A nonspecialist, general audience?
- Support for Writing: What support will students have as they write? Will you provide feedback on drafts? Will they read each other’s drafts? Will they be able to revise? Will you hold individual conferences? Will they complete any writing activities in class? (See Writing Activities for Students.)
- Criteria: Explain the learning goals of the assignment and on what basis it will be evaluated.
- Make time in class to distribute and discuss your assignment. If possible, provide a model or models of what a finished product might look like.
For more information and examples visit: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/teaching/wassign/index.cfm
Questions for revising your writing assignment
- Is the assignment clear? Might a student misread the assignment and produce something not anticipated? Is its purpose clear? Will a student see how it fits into course goals?
- Does the assignment seem interesting and challenging? From a student’s perspective, how difficult is this assignment? How much time will it require?
- What kinds of students would this assignment particularly appeal to? What kinds of students might not like this assignment?
- Does the assignment specify or imply a suitable audience? Are the grading criteria clear?
- Are the mechanics of the assignment clear (due dates, expected length, manuscript form, other particulars)?
- Is the process I want students to follow as explicit as possible? Should I build checkpoints into the assignment (submission of a prospectus, abstract, peer review dates, and so forth)?
- How easy or difficult will this assignment be to grade?
Source: John Bean, Engaging Ideas: The Professor’s Guide to Integrating Writing, Critical Thinking, and Active Learning in the Classroom. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2001.
Examples of Strong Writing Assignments
Course: English 151 Writing: Rhetoric as Argument
Source: Chris Gallagher, Writing Teachers’ Sourcebook, 2007
Example 1 Word Document
Course: General Science Course
Source: John C. Bean Engaging Ideas (p.91)
Example 2 Word Document