Design meaningful assignments

How can I make grading writing more manageable for me and meaningful for my students?
How do I prepare my students for writing in their professional and civic work?
How do I help international students who are struggling with writing?

Close-up of a student's hands while writing

WAC can provide ideas for how to create and grade writing assignments.

  • Come to our workshops this semester to develop strategies with colleagues.
  • Schedule a workshop now for your department colleagues on creating writing assignments, giving feedback, or grading student writing.
  • Contact us to consult about about one of your assignments.
  • Look at our handout on ‘Creating an Effective Writing Assignment."
  • Meet with a Writing Associate to get a trained undergraduate student's perspective on an assignment

My work with undergraduate Writing Associates (WAs) embedded in my courses has helped me hone my assignment prompts so that students know better the purpose of the assignment and what an excellent response looks like. In one case, the WA helped me see the need to streamline several documents into one so that students could better utilize the resources already available to them. In another case, the WA helped me rethink the sequence of my assignments to more successfully scaffold student writing.  In yet another case, the WA called my attention to the gap between what the assignment called for and how my students were interpreting the assignment in time for me to clarify the matter that semester and revise the assignment for future semesters.  I could go on with examples! WAs have also offered feedback on the design of in-class interventions. I relied upon them for honest and thoughtful reactions to lesson plans, and I was able to modify accordingly or come to class with an advance appreciation for exactly where students might struggle the most."

Dr. Amy Shuster, Philosophy
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