Assignments and Signature Work


Signature Assignment Institutes!

Led by LEAP Texas Faculty Fellow, Dr. Jeanne Tunks, this collaborative experience enhanced assignments for student to demonstrate social responsibility. Click here for more details.

Dates and Locations

Dallas-Fort Worth
June 22-23, 2017
Willis Library, University of North Texas
Denton, Texas

June 26-27, 2017
Hilton Garden Inn Houston/Bush Intercontinental Airport
15400 John F. Kennedy Blvd., Houston, Texas 77032

San Antonio
June 28-29, 2017
Hilton Garden Inn, San Antonio Airport
12828 San Pedro Ave., San Antonio, Texas 78216


Overview: 5 things you need to know

  1. Signature assignments require students to demonstrate and apply their proficiency in one or more key learning outcomes. This can mean synthesizing, analyzing, and applying cumulative knowledge and skills through problem- or inquiry-based assignments or projects.
  2. Signature assignments often also follow a theme across curricular and co-curricular experiences tied to the institutional mission or features of the surrounding community, allowing students to apply their knowledge and abilities to meaningful questions.
  3. The most distinctive feature of signature assignments is the way programs integrate them across the educational pathway to help students demonstrate their growth, make connections across the curriculum and co-curriculum, and apply their knowledge to real world problems.
  4. Signature assignments that vertically and horizontally span the curriculum create a structure for students to cumulatively build proficiencies throughout their entire educational experience.
  5. The design of signature work invites students to produce meaningful examples of their learning that document their progress and culminating skills and abilities.
    (from the AACU Signature Assignment Tool)

Learn more

In Texas

LEAP Texas is a voluntary consortium of more than 60 institutions that have expressed interest in the LEAP project and supporting initiatives. The LEAP Texas Faculty Fellows are developing Signature Assignments appropriate for a variety of settings and curriculum areas that will be shared at NIOLA’s Charrette on Assignments. These assignments will also be incorporated into the NIOLA Assignment Library.

Additional resources

Charrettes and Collaborative Assignment Design

In 2015 the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA) invited applications to participate in a charrette – a collaborative assignment-design process for those designing and using assignments linked to proficiencies set forth in the Degree Qualifications Profile (DQP).

Below are details of two successful submissions from Texas:

  1. The LEAPTX faculty fellows produced a submission based on assessments the fellows themselves are using in their classes.

  2. El Centro College in Dallas also produced a submission designed to introduce students to an important debate issue across courses in Speech, History, Government and Sociology.

In being chosen to participate in the charrette activity, these assignments will come to be shared across the US by being included in the Assignment Library Initiative.

Organizing assignment-design work on your campus: a tool kit of resources and materials

This 2015 toolkit makes the case for the value of a focus on assignment design, and highlights features of powerful assignments. It describes the NILOA “charrette” model as well as adaptations and examples from campuses. In addition, Designing Effective Classroom Assignments: Intellectual Work Worth Sharing, further explores the assignment design process for campuses.

Lead Faculty Fellow

Dr. Jeanne Tunks

Jeanne serves as the Director of the Core at the University of North Texas.