Seven birds with one magic bullet: designing assignments that encourage student participation

in Volume 3 (2010): Issue 1 (Mar 2010)
Restricted access

At the Danish University School of Education we have experimented with a form of assessment called 'active participation'. A week before each class students are given reading guidelines and questions to help them approach the texts, and on the basis of one of those questions the students each write a two-page essay. The students are given electronic feedback on their essays (and might have to revise and resubmit them if they do not meet requirements). Among other things, the advantages of this type of examination are: that the students practise academic writing on a regular basis; that feedback becomes an integral part of teaching; that the students must read steadily over the whole semester; and that they are encouraged to take part in all the classes.