Academic Continuity
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  • Learners can upload assignments into Blackboard so that instructors can evaluate them. When designing assignments, instructors can think: Purpose; Task; Criteria for Success.

    • Purpose: Clearly connect assignments to course objectives so that learners know why they are completing a specific assignment. 
    • Task: Articulate information regarding the actual task(s) that learners will complete. 
      • What will the learner produce to fulfill the requirements of the assignment? 
      • Is that articulated clearly in the language that learners use? 
      • Does the completion of the task matter? 
      • Does the way that learners complete the task(s) matter? 
      • Clearly indicate specific information that learners will need to complete the assignment(s) successfully. 
    • Criteria for Success: If possible include a rubric for assignments so that learners have a clear idea of how they will be assessed. 
      • Indicate which portions of the assignment will have the most impact on the learner's grade.
    • Additional considerations:
      • Include assignments in weeks, modules, or units so that learners know when to complete the assignments. 
      • Consider adding one or several micro-assignments in place of larger high-stakes assignments. 
      • Provide detailed directions for all assignments. 

    Some suggested assignments are as follows:

    • Compile several online bibliographic resources pertinent to this week’s topic, especially resources that you yourself (the learner) found helpful or that you think other learners who will take this class in the future will find helpful.  You must follow the proper (MLA, Chicago, APA, etc) form.
    • We’ve now read about the history of tomatoes, corn, and lima beans. Design a multimedia lesson or lecture that brings these histories together in a way that is interesting to you and others like you. Tell me how and why you made the choices you’ve made to approach this story. 
    • Create a podcast based on locally accessible resources or individuals pertinent to this lesson.  This could be good for, say, sustainability, or food systems, or women and gender studies, or immigration …
    • Find an online gallery or cultural center, identify a work or object there that has something to do with this class or is relevant to this lesson and write a short paragraph of 300 words explaining why you chose it and how/ why it illustrates the objective you were asked to illustrate.
    • Imagine several different historical personages in conversation with each other talking about a specific topic. Create social media profiles for them, and then construct that conversation as a series of tweets or posts on Facebook  (there are online tools to simulate these).
    • Design an Instagram story that brings together and illustrates these resources, concepts, or theories. Create a text script for that story.
    • Create an infographic to compare and contrast this and that approach to the central objective of this week’s lesson. Create a text description of the infographic.
    • Use an online “cartooning” tool to illustrate and explain the key points of this week’s subject to someone who knows nothing about it. Do this by text, describing your characters and what they think and say. 
    • We’ve been examining the problem of bird death rates across the world for some time now. Choose a specific migration pattern, collect any data that is available in online archives or resources, possibly our textbook information bank, and create a poster using a single PowerPoint or Google slide to demonstrate a possible plan to re-energize the bird population on your chosen migration route. Please attach a single page, typed, double-spaced, 1” margins, Times New Roman font, approximately 350 words explaining why you believe your choices will be effective.
    • Using your phone or a camera on a computer, take a video of yourself dancing the steps we’ve been working on. Analyze your performance considering alignment, coordination, clarity, artistry, and adaptability in 500 words.
    • Think back to a time when we used larger studio equipment in class. Describe how you felt positioning that equipment; what choices did you make? What information did you draw on to make those choices? If you had to do it again, what would you do differently to make your experience better? To make the experience of your viewers better? To make the experiences of your team-mates better?

    Any one of these could count for a small portion of the course grade, and while they may sound a bit basic, learners have to master quite a lot of material in order to do them really well – just be very clear about the intellectual expectations, and perhaps allow learners to supply alternate ways to meet the objective. Learners cannot have a rich, A-worthy (provide a rubric in Blackboard). conversation between two historical personages of different times or places if they don’t really put themselves in the shoes of those personages and understand how their lives were.   Learners cannot make a really good A-worthy lesson or lecture about tomatoes, corn, and lima beans unless they know what succotash is. They cannot present a solid solution to bird death challenges without fully grasping the material you’ve been covering. 



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