ERIC Number: ED489038
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Apr
Creating High-Quality Classroom Assignments
Matsumura, Lindsay Clare; Gallimore, Ronald
Rowman & Littlefield Education
Research indicates that the quality of classroom assignments makes a difference in student learning. Moreover, assignment quality varies between teachers even within the same school and there is room for improvement in many of the assignments that teachers provide to students. Assignment quality, as described in this book, puts into practice powerful research-based concepts for teaching. To support teachers in developing, reflecting on, and fine-tuning the assignments they create, this book presents a series of dimensions (or rubrics) with benchmark examples from elementary, middle, and high school classrooms. The purpose of these rubrics is to serve as diagnostic tools to assess the strengths and weaknesses of an assignment, as well as to guide the creation of new assignments for students. Questions also are included at the end of every chapter to guide reflection on a specific dimension of assignment quality. The following topics are covered: (1) Choosing the right text; (2) Setting clear and rigorous learning goals; (3) Developing an assignment activity that gives students a chance to apply complex thinking skills; (4) Developing clear and rigorous grading criteria; (5) Communicating the expectations for high quality work to students; (6) Writing high quality assignment directions; (7) Providing comments that support student revision; and (8) Aligning the learning goals with the assignment activity and the grading criteria. This book will be useful to teachers for self-assessment purposes, collaborative professional development settings, or as a basic text in teacher education courses. This book is organized into the following ten chapters: (1) Classroom Assignment Quality: An Introduction; (2) Choosing the Right Text; (3) What's the Point of the Assignment? Setting Goals for Student Learning; (4) Challenging Students' Thinking; Analyzing and Interpreting a Text; (5) Creating and Communicating the Criteria for Excellent Work; (6) Written Directions: Once Way to Let Students Know How to Be Successful on an Assignment; (7) Feedback That Improves Thinking and Writing; (8) Are Students Learning What Was Intended? Aligning the Assignment Task With the Learning Goals; (9) Did Students Receive Feedback on What They Were Supposed to Learn? Aligning the Learning Goals With the Grading Criteria; and (10) Putting It All Together: Assignment Quality Analysis in Action. The following is appended: (1) Rubrics and Questions to Guide Reflection and Analysis. An index is included.
Descriptors: Thinking Skills, Skill Development, Educational Quality, Educational Research, Grading, Evaluation Criteria, Teaching Methods, Assignments, Educational Objectives, Feedback, Teacher Education
Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, 4501 Forbes Blvd., Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706. Tel: 800-462-6420 (Toll Free).
Publication Type: Books; Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A