Best Practices for Creating Assignments

These recommendations might help you when creating assignments for your classes.

  • Use assignment templates to apply consistent settings for all of your assignments of the same type. WebAssign provides several assignment templates that you can use, or you can create your own templates.
  • Schedule frequent short assignments instead of a few long ones.
  • Use a variety of assignment categories, for example:
    • Practice assignments with multiple allowable submissions and Practice Another Version enabled
    • Homework with Practice Another Version enabled after final submission of the assignment
    • Timed reading assignments to check comprehension
    • Timed take-home quizzes with only one submission allowed and Practice Another Version enabled after the due date
    • Proctored tests (timed, located-limited, and password protected)
  • Enable Answer Format Tips so students can see the type of answer expected for each question (formula, numeric value, text).
  • Allow students several submissions for homework. You might need to experiment to determine the right number of submissions for your class.
    • Too many submissions and students guess at the answer. Eliminate this problem by decreasing the credit available by 25% to 35% after each submission.
    • Too few submissions and students cannot learn from their mistakes.

Pedagogical Use Cases for Assignments

A quiz is different from a test, and a tutorial assignment is different from a lab report. With paper assignments, you treat these different kinds of assignments differently in numerous ways — you might allow students to complete homework at home but not tests, for example.

Not all of these differences are formalized into rules, and they might easily escape your notice at the time. For example, you might be more inclined to give a student the benefit of the doubt for a nearly correct response on a homework assignment than on a final examination.

There are good reasons for treating different kinds of assignments differently. But in WebAssign, you need to do so consciously and consistently. Use the topics in this section as a guideline to help you plan how you will treat the different kinds of assignments that you use in your classes.