Quick Guide: Assignments

An assignment is an open-ended assessment that students complete to demonstrate their proficiency in chapter or module material and then submit for a grade. It may take the form of any type of single assessment that instructors can use to require students to demonstrate proficiency. This proficiency may be demonstrated in response to a variety of prompts, such as:

  • A reflection/journal entry
  • An essay
  • A research paper
  • A slide presentation
  • A video presentation
  • A portfolio component
  • An online scavenger hunt
  • A link to work completed in outside software


  • Students may submit their assignments in three ways: typing in responses, uploading files, or sharing hyperlinks.
  • Before including any third-party text, audio recordings, images, and/or videos in assignment prompts, please reach out to your project editor for further guidance.

Choosing the Best Assessment Type

An assignment is an excellent choice when an instructor wants students to concentrate on a substantial submission that may require either several days to complete or significant outside research and review.

An open-ended essay question is an excellent choice when an instructor wants to pair it with several other questions or narrow the scope of students’ responses (e.g., students should answer within a certain period or time; students do not need to conduct substantial outside research to address the prompt). For more information, see Guide to Creating Quality Assessments.

A discussion board is an excellent choice when you want students to engage with their peers, share opinions and resources, and/or continue a conversation about course materials. For more information, see Quick Guide: Discussion Boards.

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