3. Assignment Brief Enhancement:
These guidelines refer to ways of ensuring that the conditions under which the brief is communicated are optimal.
These refer to ways of ensuring that the conditions under which the brief is communicated are optimal.
"The lecturer said that you needed to go to the lecture to find out what you had to do or you'd get a low mark ..."
To ensure student time in processing briefs is as efficient as possible:
Aim to use the same, or parallel set of formats for briefs for each of the assignments across a module, programme, field or faculty.
To ensure maximum readability and that students are more likely to do what is expected:
Test the brief on a colleague, preferably one from another subject area and perhaps also a student on another course. Ask to read the brief and to relate any difficulties in interpretation they have and say what they understand is expected from the assessment task. This is advisable, as the designer of instructions, due to their familiarity with the task and their expertise in the field, is not always best placed to evaluate the brief’s readability.
To ensure the full range of individual student information processing style preferences are catered for:
Consider using multi modal assignment brief setting by providing written instructions along with an oral version in the form of a recorded reformulation of the instructions or even a short video of a student discussing the brief with a member of staff. Such multi modal presentation of the instructions would not be a substitute for constructive dialogue around the assignment task.
To ensure efficient use of student time in assignment task processing:
Aim to have all documents associated with the assignment, such as the grading criteria, exemplars and feedback sheets, stored together with the brief itself in an easily accessed central place. For example, in an assessment area in the Virtual Learning Environment.
To ensure that students engagement with the task is optimised:
Aim to refer periodically to the assignment brief during the course. Rather than a single session introducing the assignment, build in regular slots for dialogue about the assignment.
To ensure that students’ current assessment task and text type schemas are activated and used as efficiently as possible:
Consider providing access to sample completed assignments or parallel example texts (exemplar texts) along with marking exercises. This helps contextualize the instructions