Why your online course needs assignments and how to do them right

Why your online course needs assignments and how to do them right

#online courses
Publish Date
Sep 5, 2021
Assignments (aka homework) were the part of school many of us dreaded.
So why should we bring the concept back into our online courses?
Because your students aren't taking your course for the sake of "learning something."
They want real-world results!
And assignments help them take action in a structured way and make progress towards their goals. Also, they'll get a small win that can motivate them to keep going.

But how do you make sure your assignments will have this effect?

Follow these 4 guidelines:

🎯 Connect your assignments to their goals

Assignments should be relevant to their work/life and connect to something tangible outside of the course.
Example: In Write of Passage, the assignments are to write essays that students will publish on their blog.

⏱ Embed time to complete the assignments

Your students have busy schedules. Embedding the time to work on an assignment into your course will increase the chances they'll complete it.
Example: In Minimum Viable Video, we host Video Sprints on Saturdays. That’s 2 hours of guided time to create the video assignment for that week. That way, students don’t have to “find time” to do it.

🗣 Give feedback

Feedback is probably THE most important ingredient to making progress fast. Help your students give and get feedback to lift each other up.
Example: In Minimum Viable Video, we have the DIPS framework to help students structure their feedback.

⚙️ Have a structure

Make it clear when assignments are due, where to submit them, and how the feedback process works.
Example: In Write of Passage, there's a weekly cadence of submitting a draft by Monday, getting feedback, and publishing essays on Wednesdays.
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