This week’s WAC-friendly highlighted assignment
Professor: Jenna Spevack
Graphic Design Principles I
Assignment (brief description):
View From My Window
Create black and white figure-ground compositions (stable and ambiguous) using the simplified forms observed within the bounds of your home window (frame).
What WAC principle(s) does this assignment exemplify?
– Scaffolding : In each class for about two weeks, students are asked to complete small assignments that go toward the final assignment that will be presented.
– Writing as a creative tool : The assignment begins with a short low-stake writing segment that will help students verbalize their inspiration for the project. The assignment ends with a short low-stake writing that documents their thoughts about this project, which will help students with their other projects in the course.
– Writing as a process : For the initial short writing, students are asked to write a draft in their Creative Process Book and then post a refined version of that writing on a blog, thereby helping students refine and clarify their inspirations for the project.
How might this type of assignment be used in other courses across the curriculum?
Scaffolding of the assignment into small segments can be used in any courses across the curriculum to provide a clear guideline for students, to enhance students’ understanding of and commitment to the assignment, and eventually to deepen students’ grasp of the course material.
Additionally, any course could model the way blog was used for this assignment. As exemplified here, framing the writing portion of the assignment as a blog posting can give students ownership of their own writing, especially in determining when it is ready to publicize it. As a result, students were able to find the fine balance between formal and informal tone of voice in their writing. Such a writing practice can enhance students’ initial engagement with the project, but more importantly, can serve as a tool to improve students’ writing by giving them just the right amount of pressure.