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Common Assignment Format

In order for faculty to effectively reuse an assignment they find online, they need to have certain common pieces of information about it in a form that can be easily understood outside of the context for which the activity was originally developed. The activity collections at SERC are built to collect and display these critical parts to make the activities themselves as useful as possible to a wide variety of educators. There is a common format running through the collections which enables users to quickly make a decision about whether a particular activity will fit their needs.

To share an assignment via this collection, use the activity submission form.

Activity Title

The title should be evocative of the main point(s) of the activity. It needs to communicate the full context of the activity on its own as it will show up in places like search returns (e.g. Google) where people won't have any contextual clues. So it should convey the idea that this is a teaching activity, what the subject matter is and what the relevant pedagogical focus is.

Author

Name and institution of author(s) of the activity and any other appropriate attribution information. If the page is based on materials originally created elsewhere that should be noted with attribution given to the original authors and links provided to the original materials.

Teaching Method

What kind of pedagogy is involved in using this activity? This will not only help educators who are looking for a particular type of assignment, it will also allow your activity to be grouped together with others of its kind and associated with information about that particular pedagogy.

Summary

This text should make it clear what the activity is. It should provide an overview of the things that students will do and the intended outcomes. The description should be concise and compelling: typically no more than 1-2 very brief paragraphs.

Goals

Describe the concepts, content, and skills that students should learn as a result of completing this activity.

Context for Use

This text should help faculty understand the types of teaching situations for which this activity is appropriate. Important types of context include educational level, class size, institution type, etc. Is it lab, lecture, or field exercise, or a longer project? How much time is needed for the activity. Is there special equipment that is necessary? Are there skills or concepts that students should have already mastered before encountering this activity? How is this activity situated in the course? How easy (or hard) would it be to adapt the activity for use in other settings?

Activity Description and Teaching Materials

This section should include a narrative describing the mechanics of the activity and all the materials needed to implement the activity (or links and references to those materials).

Teaching Notes

This section should include notes and tips for instructors who might use the activity. Information such as common areas of confusion, things that need reinforcement, safety guidelines and other practical tips, and pointers for making the best use of the activity are appropriate.

Assessment

This section should describe how the author determines whether or not students (either individually or collectively) are achieving the learning goals outlined for the activity. Other relevant assessment strategies may also be described in this section.

Resources

This section should include references and links to online resources that discuss the specific activity or will support faculty and/or students using the activity.