Wednesday, August 19, 2009

designing a syllabus (step 5 of 9) - assignments

(confession/disclaimer/warning: five and a half weeks into parenting, i am quickly becoming aware of what a beyond full-time job it is. how do people have more than one child? these days, time, which i used to hunt and gather efficiently and in abundance, is hard to come by. i mention this to say that the once-noble nine-part syllabus-building series has lately, by necessity, suffered from a lack of attention. as such, these posts in pixels hardly match my best ideas and intentions in my head.)

now that you have collected and compiled your course readings, you are ready for assignments.

in a perfect world, students (and professors) would come to class fully prepared and wildly curious, seeking knowledge not grades, fostering community not competition. and although this sometimes happens, it's all to rare. enter assignments.

assignments come in all forms and sizes. there's reading assignments to encourage students to do the readings, making subsequent class discussions more interesting and participatory. there's homework assignments that require students to take what they learn in class and apply it outside of class. there's major assignments that require students to wrestle with class themes and topics and synthesize them into the form of tests, papers, and projects. and there's extra credit assignments, little nuggets that reward (or pamper?) students for taking the course topic a few steps farther.

once you have your assignments, add them to your syllabus, save the document, shut down your computer, and celebrate your progress.


cbrooks said...

Hi David -

Siena looks amazing! You all look so happy together.

On the time thing - I've found that, with Cassidy, now that he sleeps through the night, I can get work done in the evening, so I've reverted back to grad-school mode of just staying up late. Of course, I still have to get up early, so the sleep deprivation hasn't gone away.

david silver said...

hey chris! thanks for the comment.

i like your idea of being flexible with sleep. as we better understand siena's sleep patterns, we're starting to get a handle on how this sleep thing works (or can work).