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  • Assignment Authoring
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The various components that may be included in an assignment description may be conceptually grouped into a few categories:

  1. The What:
    • An assignment title (required)
    • Instructions or an overview of what the assignment requires or involves (required)
    • Whether the assignment will be graded, and if so a rubric of some sort will be required (required):
      • total possible point value for the assignment
      • some other default rubric (e.g. letter grade, check marks, etc.)
      • some custom rubric
    • Any attached files
    • The inclusion of any "sub-assignments" (i.e. whether a single overarching assignment involves multiple submissions, each assessed individually, e.g. first draft, second draft, final paper).
      • If composite, a "What" will need to be supplied for each sub-portion.
    • A list of other references or readings
    • Specify learning outcomes or goals toward which an assignment is directed
    • A set of general guidelines (e.g. paper format, how to cite references, etc.)
    • Instructor notes - self-reminders for the instructor, or notes for assignment reviewers, invisible to students
  2. The Who (this is likely, but not strictly required):
    • Specifying those who will submit the assignment. Options should include the entire site (the default), particular groups, or even public
    • Specifying who will be doing the reviewing/grading
  3. The When (this is likely, but not strictly required):
    • "Open" date and time - the date at which the assignment is available for submissions (the default is the time at which the assignment is posted)
    • Due date and time (the default is to have no due date)
    • "Accept until" date and time - in those cases where "late" submissions will be accepted (the default is to have the accept until date be the same as the due date, i.e., to accept no late submissions)
  4. The How (other constraints or options to be applied):
    • Allowed forms of submission (e.g. inline text, file attachment, non-digital form) - the default is to allow any form of digital submission
    • Whether multiple submissions will be allowed
    • The conditions of any peer review
    • A "model" assignment or solution to be available once assignments have been graded and returned

Authoring "wizard" idea:

  • Use a multi-step wizard pattern for assignment creation, with a screen/step for each of the categories above (though with improved names).
  • Since the only required portions are within "The What", authors could finish the wizard after the first screen, or at any further stage along the way.
  • Options available on other screens could be accessed directly from the main assignments listing (e.g. with icons like a person, a clock, etc.), so that options could easily be tweaked after initial creation