Mini-project on Assignment Briefs

One of the mini-projects which we’re running as part of the TRAFFIC project is one to look at providing some kind of standard template for assignment briefs.

Right away I have to admit that this isn’t the right terminology to use, as the words ‘standard’ and ‘template’ seem to have the effect of lighting the blue touchpaper and launching us into all kinds of debate about academic freedom. An alternative expression has been suggested: ‘communication of assessment arrangements’, but this seems to propel the discussion in the direction of ‘admin tail wagging academic dogs’. Really, what we want to do is to find a consistent way of capturing what students are expected to do for their assignments but I have a feeling that the expression ‘Assignment Capture’ might send us down another distracting dead end. Unless anyone thinks that might catch on?

Anyhow, in the spirit of capturing what goes on already and of collecting examples of good practice to share, part of this mini-project involves interviewing staff and students about their experiences of working with assignment briefs. Much of this work is being undertaken by Iqra Ali, an MMU graduate with recent experience of this herself. Any MMU people who’d like to contribute, please contact me directly or leave a comment below and we’ll get in touch. We’d also be interested in looking at examples from other institutions, fellow project teams…

At the moment we are just hoping to develop the rough template we have up already in our Assessment web pages and then find a way of incorporating this into our nascent programme/unit database. This is a tall order even if we manage to agree a consistent structure for the brief, but it is a strong aspiration.

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