Designing Effective Assignments and Activities

Monday 1:30pm-4:00pm Gordon: Symphony Meeting Room
Afternoon Mini Workshop


Barb Tewksbury, Hamilton College

We will focus on practical and effective strategies for designing inquiry-based assignments and activities and on how to successfully implement techniques such as jigsaw, gallery walk, and concept sketches in courses at all levels. Participants will use a rubric developed by On the Cutting Edge for evaluating the effectiveness of assignments/activities and will have time to work on developing an assignment for their own courses.


Goals of the program: Participants will 1) learn how to evaluate the effectiveness of an assignment or activity, 2) learn how to successfully implement several practical for designing effective assignments, and 3) develop the outline for an inquiry-based assignment or activity using jigsaw, gallery walk, or concept sketches for use in a particular course.


1:30 Introduction - what makes an effective assignment/activity?
1:45 Evaluation of a sample activity using a rubric; discussion of the warts and what could be done to improve the activity
2:15 Ways to redesign the sample activity to make it more effective
3:00 Individual work time
3:30 Feedback and discussion of participant outlines
3:55 Workshop evaluation
4:00 Adjourn

Workshop handouts

Designing effective assignments and activities (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 4.1MB Jul15 16) | Rainfall Changes in the Sahara handout (Microsoft Word 1.4MB Jun2 15) | Rubric for evaluating assignments and activities handout (Microsoft Word 48kB Jun2 15) | Pre-class Prep for Jigsaw and Gallery Walk handout (Microsoft Word 2.1MB Jun2 15) | Paleolakes Jigsaw handout (Microsoft Word 2.7MB Jun2 15) | Paleolakes Gallery Walk handout (Microsoft Word 38kB Jun2 15) | Follow up for Paleolakes Jigsaw and Gallery Walk handout (Microsoft Word 36kB Jun2 15)

Other resources

Gallery Walk