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Online discussion of assignment requirements

Brief description

In this exercise, you may make sure that the expectations and requirements of a future assignment are made explicit by letting the students read an example of a previously submitted assignment. Using this assignment example as a basis, the students may discuss and improve their own understanding of the requirements regarding their upcoming assignment.

Motivation for the exercise and required outcome

The purpose of the exercise is to enable the students to discuss the requirements on them regarding future assignments. Discussing this in groups, with the opportunity of involving their teacher in the discussions, students will be be able to verbalise and prevent any misunderstandings and unspoken expectations.

Performing the exercise

  • You must make a number of examples of previously solved assignments available to the students. 

  • The students should read the assignment responses, focusing on the requirements involved in the solution of the assignment problems. 

  • Subsequently, the students must work in groups to formulate in writing the most essential characteristics of a “good assignment response” and upload this to a blog or other forum, for instance the Discussion Board in Blackboard.

  • On the basis of the students’ contributions, the students and teacher will then discuss the requirements for good assignment responses and the key elements in these.  This may also take place in an online forum. 

  • You may choose to follow up on the most important points in your next teaching session. 

Variation options:

  • It may be helpful for the students in their discussion if you formulate a number of focus points or questions in advance. 

  • The number of assignment responses which the students must read has an effect on their learning outcome as regards the requirements of the assignment.  A small number of assignments will enable them to delve deeper into individual elements. A large number of assignments will provide them with a broader understanding of different ways in which an assignment question may be answered.


You will need:

  • Item – or to create a Discussion Board in Blackboard.

Worth considering:

  • On which criteria do your base your choice of exemplary assignment responses?
  • Should the discussion of requirements regarding the assignment response be based on the academic regulations?