Designing Writing Assignments That Assess Students’ Higher-Level Thinking Skills
09:00 - 15:30
November 28, 2019
Dusit Princess Hotel
Chiang Mai, Thailand
November 15, 2019
Baht 12,500 per participant
Group of 3 or more
Baht 10,500 per participant
Other one -day workshops by the same speaker during this period:
November 30, 2019
November 29, 2019
Register for 2 one-day workshops
Baht 21,000 per participant
Register for 3 one-day workshops
Baht 29,500 per participant
Teachers of the upper primary (advanced enough to give writing assignments) and the secondary levels
Participants will gain knowledge about the type and characteristics of a writing assignment (and essay question) that can assess higher-level thinking skills. They will learn how to compose such an assignment, prepare students for it, and enhance their performance on it. Finally, they will learn how to assess/grade writing assignments by using rubrics and the specifications grading method.
Participants will be able to:
Identify and compose writing assignments (and essay test questions) that are well-defined, focused, and targeted to assess higher-level thinking skills.
Explain the advantages and disadvantages of writing assignments as assessment instruments.
Explain the characteristics of a good writing assignment that assesses higher-level thinking skills.
Improve their current writing assignments.
Assess/grade their students’ writing assignments using two methods: rubrics and specifications grading.
Composing compelling writing assignments that assess higher-level thinking requires a conscious strategy. The best such assignments present students with a problematic situation, paradox, dilemma, controversy, or issue that they have to figure out how to resolve. Learning about specifications grading will cause another mindset shift because it is such a different (but fair) way to grade.
Advantages and disadvantages of writing assignments; higher-level thinking skills, in general and by disciplinary group; higher-level thinking operations/verbs; characteristics of good writing assignments; ways to help students succeed; questions and task prompts that will give students practice in higher-level thinking
Application to one’s own course(s); assessing with rubrics; the process of developing a rubric step by step; the impact of the rubric’s dimensions on students’ grades
Application of rubric guidelines to one’s own course(s); assessing using specifications grading; specs grading strategies; transitioning from traditional to specs grading
Copies of the directions for current writing assignments
Linda B. Nilson, Ph.D., is director emerita of the Office of Teaching Effectiveness and Innovation (OTEI) at Clemson University and author of Teaching at Its Best: A Research-Based Resource for College Instructors (Jossey-Bass, 2016), now in its fourth edition. She also wrote The Graphic Syllabus and the Outcomes Map: Communicating Your Course (Anker/Jossey-Bass, 2007), Creating Self-Regulated Learners: Strategies to Strengthen Students’ Self-Awareness and Learning Skills (Stylus, 2013), and Specifications Grading: Restoring Rigor, Motivating Students, and Saving Faculty Time (Stylus, 2015).
Her latest books are Online Teaching at Its Best: Merging Instructional Design with Teaching and Learning Research with Ludwika A. Goodson (Wiley, 2018) and Creating Engaging Discussions: Strategies for "Avoiding Crickets" in Any Size Classroom and Online with Jennifer H. Herman (Stylus, 2018).
Dr. Nilson’s career as a full-time faculty development director spanned over 25 years. She has published many articles and book chapters and has given about 500 keynotes, webinars, and live workshops at conferences, colleges, and universities both nationally and internationally on dozens of topics related to college teaching and scholarly productivity. She has also taught graduate seminars on college teaching.