Organizing Assignment-Design Work on Your Campus: A Tool Kit of Resources and Materials


In 2013, as part of our role in documenting campus experience with the Degree Qualifications Profile (DQP), the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA) began working with faculty to create an online “Assignment Library” of faculty-designed and peer-reviewed assignments linked to DQP proficiencies.

Our goal in this work has been to promote an embedded approach to assessment–through the assignments that faculty require of their students–that is integral to the teaching and learning process and therefore more likely to lead to improvement than “add-on,” compliance-driven approaches.  Thoughtfully designed assignments can support learning-centered curricular and pedagogical reform and create clearer, more powerful pathways for students.   And for faculty, working together on the design of assignments has turned out to be a powerful professional development experience.

Through the Assignment Library Initiative, NILOA has organized and sponsored a series of assignment-design “charrettes” (a term borrowed from architecture education denoting a collaborative design process) for faculty from around the country who have applied to participate.

But what has become increasingly clear is that campuses (and sometimes systems and states, and even disciplinary societies) are interested in organizing their own such events.  That is the purpose of this toolkit: to provide tools, materials, and resources that can be borrowed and adapted to local circumstances.  We hope you find them useful and we invite your feedback ( on how to add to and improve them.

Download the Let’s ‘Face It’: Striving for Fair, Accurate and Transparent Assessment presentation to guide you on how to start assessment conversations on your campus.

Download the full Organizing Assignment Charrettes: Resources and Materials for Conducting an Assignment Charrette.