Assignments across disciplines: a digital assessment resource and community of practice
Assignments Across Disciplines: A Digital Assessment Resource & Community of Practice
“By giving instructors access to a peer-reviewed collection of assignments, AAD is enhancing the quality of assignments at the University of Toronto which directly amplifies student experience”.-Prof. Andrea Williams
Assignments Across Disciplines (AAD) is a digital assignment library and accompanying community of practice at the University of Toronto focused on enhancing teaching and learning through better assignments. This open-access educational collection is accessible on TSpace and includes assignments from across the disciplines that have been peer-reviewed by instructors, librarians, educational developers, learning strategists, and graduate teaching assistants. Contributions to the AAD collection normally include the assignment instructions, rubric, and student exemplars if available. From blogs, podcasts, and posters, to more traditional essay assignments, AAD gives instructors access to a broad range of assignments and gives contributors formative feedback on key aspects of their assignments, such as learning outcomes or objectives, the description of assignment process or tasks, sequencing and scaffolding of larger assignments, and evaluation criteria. Assignment contributors receive credit for making their teaching resources available to others (choosing which creative commons licensing they prefer) as users are encouraged to cite entries from collection. Students also have a voice in AAD by nominating assignments that they feel have contributed in significant ways to their learning.
Faculty of Arts and Science
Professor Andrea Williams, Coordinator, Writing Instruction for TAs (WIT) program, Faculty of Arts and Science
Year LEAF Granted
LEAF Priority Area(s)
Impact of the Project on Students
Students can benefit from the resources in this database which exemplifies the best practices in teaching information literacy, reading, writing, and multimodal literacies.
By giving instructors access to a peer-reviewed collection of assignments, AAD is enhancing the quality of assignments at the University of Toronto which directly amplifies student experience.
AAD has also secured the first University of Toronto award specifically aimed at assignments: in 2021-2022 the Arts and Science Students Union (ASSU) is launching assignment awards.
Impact of the Project on Faculty
Faculty can make use of the data provided by this project to learn about patterns and trends in undergraduate writing and innovative assessments and instructional activities related to writing at the University of Toronto.
In addition, AAD’s peer review process supports instructors developing new assignments or revising existing ones. Almost three dozen instructors have engaged in AAD’s peer review process.
Resources Developed from the Project
AAD is a digital resource that can best be described as a cross-curricular innovation.
The next stage of this project will potentially include the development of an interactive assignment design module.
I have been working with CTSI on this project as well as faculty and staff from all three campuses.
I have also presented at four conferences: one national, one international, and two regional, on this project where I have met faculty interested in joining the advisory board and contributing to the database.