Assignments fall under the umbrella heading of assessment. The word assessment sometimes has a bad rap, but I see it as nothing more, and nothing less, than a tool to inform instructional decision-making and a means by which students can develop and demonstrate mastery of a given skillset. The principle undergirding all of my assignments is that assessment should be authentic, that is, process-oriented and designed to accord students a high degree of ownership of their own learning. In our era of high-stakes testing, assignments that push students to express their creativity, explore varied genres of writing, take intellectual risks, and develop real-world writing and thinking skills are all the more valuable.
For ease of browsing, I have categorized the sample assignments placed here by purpose. In the world of education studies, the term formative assessment refers to ungraded or low-stakes assignments that serve three main functions: gathering information about students’ progression toward learning goals, providing students with feedback, and involving students in the learning process. Summative assessments are assessments that are implemented at the end of a unit, providing students with an opportunity to demonstrate their overall learning.
For some background reading on my philosophy of assessment, I have created a brief bibliography.