Blog 6 by Anneli – How I communicate a writing task for students?

Writing tasks in my courses are question-answer type and template based. In question-answer tasks students are answering to given questions. To find answers they are studying certain materials which are available in the course e-learning environment and via JYU digital library. They know which material to study and where they find it. They can answer to questions in groups or individually. Type of writing is free form, the main issue is to write a correct answer – length is not so relevant. In template-based tasks students are using very structured template with section and subsection titles defined. The guidelines for the content in each section or subsection are also described in the templates. Students are working in groups with small software requirements development projects the subject of which they can choose themselves. So they apply the template for the project of their own. In both cases, question-answer type and template based, I have prepared clear guidelines for them with examples. I have developed these guidelines year by year based on students’ feedback and my own experience. Now it seems to work well, because the amount of questions from students has decreased and the quality of writing tasks has become better.

After reading the slide “Designing academic writing tasks (adapted from Räsänen, 2012), I would highlight for my students “the Audience” much more. It is now said in implicit way. I think it is important to say it clearer.