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Assignment Bank "Builds"

3 min read

I'm working on a new course for the fall called Ad Copy and Layout. It will be very similar to PR Publications but, of course, focused towards advertising. So, in a sense, it's sort of like I'm getting the chance to redesign PR Publications. I'm going to play the hits and utilize two of Alan Levine's tools he created for DS106 including the Daily Create (I'll be having students write a daily headline) and the Assignment Bank for weekly "challenges."

I'm currently working on the bank right now and it's coming along quite well. I plan to write a much more comprehesive post on the course once the Fall rolls around but just going to be jotting a few notes down in the meantime.

So, as I mentioned, the bank will be used for challenges related to each unit. Some units are more fundamental (design theory, copywriting) while other are more comprehesive (build a campaign, design a brandmark). Here's a preview of some of the copywriting challenges:

If you read the titles, you'll notice that some of them are very self-contained exercises like "Hire a Celebrity Spokesperson" while others are more bite-size chunks of lengthier processes. For instance, "create a product description document" would being a portion of the research process that leads into informing your copywriting.

One thing I was thinking about is for larger bank projects (design a billboard campaign), I could potentially want students to first go through the process of creating a product description document (another challenge). Further, students could want to rework a research and discovery chalenge that they would be valuable before getting started.

So here's my question: How could one build on top of the assignment bank the ability for instructors OR students to parlay different challenges together to make a challenge made up of several challenges?

An example: I could also create a bank of challenges that had a social component (work with a partner, utilize a collaborative document, etc.) and a student could do a "build" (thanks Keegan for suggesting this as the term for the concept) that equals product description doc + work with a partner + design a billboard campaign.

It would give a real modular plug-and-play aspect to the challenge bank and allow students to come up with ways of putting together assignments that I would have never imagined before.

I'm trying to figure out how this could technically work. Each assignment bank option has its own specific tag ("Challenge45," "Challenge56" etc.). I wonder if I could create a custom page type that showed how these are strung together (45 + 56) that could act as a way for people to see different Builds that have been completed.

As always, this is a very nascent idea, one where comments and suggestions would be highly appreciated!