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Resources for Effective Teaching

Topic:  Assigning and Assessing Short Writing Assignments

General information
Many faculty believe that writing is an essential aspect of student learning. It is a useful tool in evaluating student performance and promoting critical thinking. Assessing student writing is as important as developing meaningful writing assignments. Students are more likely to succeed as writers if given clear guidelines (rubrics). This webpage is designed to help you construct the most meaningful written assignments as well as learn the best methods for assessing them.

Links to OSET Resource Pages:
Working With Your Librarian: Designing Effective Library Assignments to Enhance Student Learning:
This link will take you to the 2008 Success in the Classroom presentation abstracts. From there, scroll down to page 5 to find a one page abstract offering suggestions on how to construct written assignments using the university library as a resource base;  Carroll Botts, University of New Mexico.

Giving Richer Feedback on Written Assignments Through Social Technology: This link will take you to the 2008 Success in the Classroom presentation abstracts. From there, scroll down to page 17 to find a one page abstract on the reasons for written assignments and the advantages of using technology to provide students with feedback; Robert E. Hoffman, University of New Mexico.

Workshops Related to this Topic (check the OSET events calendar for upcoming offerings):
Assigning and Assessing Writing I: Fundamentals

Assigning and Assessing Writing Workshops

Links to UNM Resources
CAPS Writing Center


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FacNet Resources – UNM faculty who are happy to help in this area:
UNM faculty have volunteered to offer one-on-one advice about assigning and assessing short writing assignments and will welcome you to watch.  Contact OSET and we will make arrangements for you to meet.

Click here if you would like to volunteer your expertise to colleagues by joining FacNet.


Links to Useful Resources Outside UNM:
Incorporating Writing into Your Course: This website hosts a variety of topics regarding writing including designing effective assignments.

Strategies to Improve Student Writing: David Smit writes about the crisis in writing, why and how teachers can include written assignments in their classes to enhance learning, and the practicality of doing so; Kansas State University.

Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Student Writing (but Were Afraid to Ask): This POD article reveals three of the most helpful strategies and practices for using writing effectively in our classrooms;
Michael Reder, Connecticut College.

Writing Across the Curriculum Texts for Teachers: This pdf hosts a list of resources for teachers and students compiled by Dr. Cara Minardi; Georgia Gwinnett College.

Solve a Teaching Problem: If you have identified the problem in your class to be that students can’t write as well as you would like click on this link to come up with possible reasons and strategies to solve the problem.