What to consider when using assignments as an assessment method for a course.

An assignment is a piece of (academic) work or task. It provides opportunity for students to learn, practice and demonstrate they have achieved the learning goals. It provides the evidence for the teacher that the students have achieved the goals. The output can be judged using sensory perception (observing, reading, tasting etc.). The assignment can focus on a product as output (e.g. research report, design, prototype, etc.) and/or a process (e.g. research process, group process) and/or the performance of individual skills or competences (e.g. professional skills, communications skills).

education board assignment

When assessing with assignments, we should pay attention to:  >>  validity : we really test what we want to test; the assignment and the way we assess the results are aligned with the learning goals. >> reliability : based on the results, we make a right, just, fair, objective distinction between pass/fail or provide the just grade. Our scoring or grading is done in a consistent way and the  judgments or the grades are meaningful. >> transparency : it clear upfront for the students what they will learn, what they have to do (as evidence; what to deliver or show), how they will be assessed and what to expect during the process. >> the assignment and the feedback provided will support the learning process .  

With the toolbox below, related to the questions and issues mentioned above, we hope to offer you useful tips and guidelines for designing and assessing assignments.

assignment cloud

  • Top 10 tips on designing assessment tasks with particular focuses on learning outcomes, and assessment criteria. Resource: Learnhigher .   Resource picture: Nick Youngson - link to -

education board assignment

  • Assessment Criteria . About: characteristics; threshold or marking criteria; hidden criteria.(University of Kent) 
  • Know what it is that you are assessing: writing assessment criteria . Things to remember when writing assessment criteria and an example format.(University of Reading) 

education board assignment

Useful resources to learn more about rubrics, to find templates or examples:

  • What are rubrics and why are they important?  Explanation about the purpose of rubrics and about different types of rubrics. (ASCD, by Susan M. Brookhart)  
  • Introduction to Rubrics . By Danielle Stevens and Antonia Levi from Portland State University. Including templates and examples.
  • Grading and Performance Rubrics . Explanation and some very nice examples. Eberly Center.
  • More Examples of Rubrics and Other Resources . Examples for specific purposes, like class participation, team work, multidisciplinary work, research papers and more. DePaul university Teaching Commons.    

The disadvantage of assignments is, most of the time, that scoring and grading will take a lot of time. Especially if you want to give the students detailed feedback. The resources below may give you some (new) ideas and tips to assess and provide feedback in an efficient as well as an effective way.      

  • Clare Furneaux of the University of Reading (UK) offers her tip for assessing large numbers of students and at the same time provide elaborate feedback. Short video . 
  • Stimulate success.  Tips on providing ‘Feed Forward’ guidance  (tips from the University of Reading, UK).  
  • Grading Student Papers: Reducing Faculty Workload While Improving Feedback to Students . An article by Kathy Pezdek with tips (e.g. using a coding system).  
  • If you are working at the University of Twente and would like some support or just discuss your ideas or plans, please turn to the Technology Enhanced Learning & Teaching group .  
  • The Centre for Teaching Excellence of the University of Waterloo developed a usefull webpage about fast and equitable grading. 

education board assignment

  • Helping Students to Reflect on their Group Work .  With useful instruments and tips.(UNSW)  
  • Methods for Assessing Group Work . A very  worthwhile site about ways to assess group work. With advantages and disadvantages for different methods and formula to provide scores/grades. (University of Waterloo; Centre for Teaching Excellence)   
  • Group Work and Group Assessment . Handbook / guidelines and some useful instruments. (Centre for Academic Development; Victoria University of Wellington) 

Academic integrity is important and most students will agree and act accordingly. But nevertheless fraud occurs occasionally and as an examiner you are expected to detect fraud, whether it is real cheating, like delivering work someone else made, or plagiarism or free-riding. But how can you detect it? And what to do next? In case of plagiarism or free-riding, it might not always happen with the wrong intentions or circumstances may have influenced what happened. Better to look for ways to prevent it, but what can be done? Below you will find some useful resources dealing with these issues.   NB. Specific rules and regulations may apply for your educational programme. For the University of Twente you have to check the Educational Examination Rules (EER) for your own educational programme and the  Rules & Regulations of the Examination Board for your programme or faculty. Be aware that you have to report fraud to the Examination Board!

  • Top10 tips on deterring plagiarism . (LearnHigher site).This resource includes tips on how to prevent and eradicate the appeal for plagiarism. Ideas for task and assessment design are suggested, with a particular focus on the research process.
  • Reduce the risk of plagiarism in just 30 minutes!   Leaflet with tips. (ASKe; Oxford Brookes University)   
  • A short note with 10 tips to prevent freeriding . 

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This exercise is especially developed for the course Testing & Assessment. This course is offered by the Centre of Expertise in Learning and Teaching (CELT), University of Twente. The course is part of the UTQ (BKO) and UEQ (BKE) trajectory. Copyright  CELT-UT / Expertise team T&A.  The material may be used by other parties provided that reference is made. If you would like us to give a workshop on this subject, either in English or Dutch, face-to-face or online, please contact us: [email protected] 

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Professional Educator Standards Board

A-Z Topic Index

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The Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) works to ensure that Washington’s students have courses and support services from appropriately credentialed educators. One way PESB does this is through assignment policy: matching teacher endorsements with courses, and matching certificates with educator roles.

Assignment policy is set at the state level but offers local flexibility. School districts may set their own additional hiring requirements as long as state policy is also met. While districts are allowed flexibility under state assignment policy to meet workforce needs, it is important to prioritize student access to appropriately credentialed educators.

State and federal policy beyond course and endorsement matches provide specific criteria in certain program and content areas. In addition, certain organizations set requirements for their associated courses. See options for specific content areas and programs below.

Remote learning and alternative schedules

Assignment policy provides districts flexibility in considering remote learning, alternative schedules, mastery based learning, new calendars, and other options.

Assignment policy for teachers is based on the matching of endorsements to courses. The mode of instruction, such as remote or hybrid learning, does not change the underlying table matching endorsements to CEDARS course codes. Districts must still follow the same policy for placing teachers out-of-endorsement: school board approval and a plan of support for the teacher.

As school schedules and modes of instruction are modified in response to public health concerns, school districts should be prepared to consider assignment policy. School board approval is required for out-of-endorsement assignments, and for conditional certificates. The assignment of educators is generally handled by district and building administrators, and human resources staff.

Changing schedules for the upcoming school year may result in a relatively large number of teachers out-of-endorsement. While districts are allowed flexibility under state assignment policy to meet workforce needs, it is important to prioritize student access to appropriately credentialed educators.

Matching endorsements with courses

PESB establishes a table matching teacher endorsements to courses. This assignment tool can be used to determine which courses are matched with which endorsements so that a teacher remains in endorsement. Course names and codes are published annually by OSPI CEDARS .

  • For questions on matching endorsements to courses, certificate types to roles, or on using the PESB assignment table, contact PESB at [email protected] .
  • For questions on district reporting requirements, student program area assignment requisites, or course names and course codes, contact the OSPI Title II, Part A program office at [email protected] .

Teaching out-of-endorsement

A teacher may teach outside of their endorsement area if certain conditions are met. If individuals are assigned outside of their endorsement area, the following need to happen:

  • The out-of-endorsement assignment needs to be approved by the local school board.
  • The district and the teacher mutually develop a written plan of support for the teacher.
  • Teachers are not subject to nonrenewal or probation based on evaluations of their teaching effectiveness in the out-of-endorsement assignments.

Teachers with a residency, professional, emergency, transitional, endorsed initial, or endorsed continuing certificate may teach out-of-endorsement under this policy. For other certificates types, please see the “Certificate types and assignment policy” section below ( WAC 181-82-110).

Plans of support for out-of-endorsement teaching

Plans of support for out-of-endorsement teaching must be mutually developed by the teacher and the school district. The written plan needs to provide the teacher with a reasonable amount of time for planning and studying related to the out-of-endorsement assignment.

These plans might include mentoring, time for lesson planning, PLC time with teachers in the content area, taking a course, independent study, and so on. The plan does not have to include acquiring the endorsement, although it may ( WAC 181-82-110).

Educational staff associates (ESAs)

Educational staff associates (ESAs) provide education and health services to students in Washington State. There are nine ESA roles. Educators must hold the ESA certificate specific to their role. For example, school counselors must hold a school counselor ESA certificate. Learn more about ESA assignment policy .

A district may contract with an external provider who does not hold an ESA certificate unless they are supporting students with services as listed under an individualized education program (IEP). ESA certification is required in order to provide specially designed instruction or related services under an IEP ( WAC 392-172A-02090 ).

All contracted providers serving in these roles must hold the relevant state or national license. The requirements of state or national licensing, in addition to the school ESA certificate, differ for each of these roles. Though they are not required to do so, many school districts choose to require ESA certification or other conditions as part of a personal services or agency contract.

The OSPI Special Education office can respond to inquiries on specially designed instruction or related services at 360-725-6075 or [email protected] .

Telepractice: ESAs providing services through telepractice are subject to the same Washington ESA certification and licensure regulations as those providing in-person services. There are no Professional Educators Standard Board (PESB) regulations that would prevent any of the Washington State educator roles from practicing virtually.

Some other states require individuals providing telepractice services to have the appropriate certificate for both the state they are providing services from, and the state they are providing services to, so it is important for individuals to inquire with both states.


If funded by the Legislature, paraeducators must receive training on the Fundamental Course of Study and the General Paraeducator Certificate by their district.

A subject matter certificate or an advanced paraeducator certificate is not a prerequisite for a paraeducator working in any program ( RCW 28a.413.080 and RCW 28a.413.090).

Adding an endorsement

Educators who already hold a teacher certificate can add an endorsement through one of the following pathways:

  • Test only: Certain endorsements can be added by passing a content knowledge assessment.
  • Program plus test: Other endorsements require completion of an approved endorsement program in addition to passing a content knowledge assessment.
  • National Board certification: Some endorsements can be added through achieving National Board certification .

Learn more about applying to add an endorsement through the OSPI certification office.

Financial support for adding an endorsement: The educator retooling conditional loan scholarship provides financial support to Washington State certified educators seeking to add a teaching endorsement in a shortage area. Learn more about the educator retooling conditional loan scholarship .

Guidance for grade levels

Some endorsements include a developmental level: early childhood, elementary, or middle level ( WAC 181-82-201 ). These levels are provided for guidance purposes only, and are not requirements for educator placement. School districts can consider the following when pairing a teacher’s endorsement with a grade designation:

  • Early childhood: Birth to third grade
  • Elementary: Kindergarten to grade eight
  • Middle level: Grade four to grade nine

Additional requirements for specific content areas and programs

Some content areas and programs have specific certification and endorsement requirements in addition to the matching of endorsements with courses.

Special education

Options are available to address staffing shortages in special education. Individuals who have completed some, but not all, of the requirements for a special education endorsement might qualify for a pre-endorsement waiver or a temporary out-of-endorsement placement.

A pre-endorsement waiver allows an individual to perform the duties of a special education teacher, such as writing IEPs. The requirements for this waiver include an application to the OSPI special education office and completing 24 quarter credits (16 semester credits), or the equivalent in clock hours, applicable to a special education endorsement ( WAC 181-82-110(4) and 392-172A-02090(2)(a) ).

A temporary out-of-endorsement assignment is handled at the district level. A special education endorsed teacher in the district must design and supervise the instruction, as well as monitor and evaluate the progress of students assigned to the unendorsed teacher. This temporary assignment requires a mutually agreed upon written plan of support and school board approval. The school district is responsible for determining that the assigned teacher has completed nine quarter hours (six semester hours) of course work applicable to a special education endorsement ( WAC 392-172A-02090(2)(b) ).

Visit the OSPI special education office website to learn more about the pre-endorsement waiver, the temporary out-of-endorsement placement, and how to apply.

Career and Technical Education (CTE)

Instruction of cte courses.

Educators must have a CTE certificate with a broad area or specialty area specific to the CTE course they are instructing. These certification requirements may be tied to funding. For information on requirements for instructing CTE courses, please contact the OSPI Career and Technical Education office , and see the CTE CIP code (course code) and V-code (area code) chart (PDF).

CTE teachers instructing non-CTE courses

Educators who have completed Plan 1 (college and university) route CTE programs, and hold residency, professional, or continuing teacher certificates may teach non-CTE courses on the same out-of-endorsement basis that other teachers can. These educators may also add endorsements in the same way as other teachers.

Educators who have completed Plan 2 (business and industry) route CTE programs, and hold an initial or continuing CTE teacher certificate, may not teach non-CTE courses. In order to teach non-CTE courses, these individuals must obtain a residency or conditional teacher certificate.

CTE certificates with math applied, science applied, or designated science applied areas are matched with all the non-CTE courses as these same teacher endorsements.

Individuals who hold or have held a continuing CTE teacher certificate are eligible to apply for a substitute certificate, and with this substitute certificate, they may substitute in non-CTE courses.

Visual and performing arts

Visual and performing arts courses must be taught by educators holding an arts endorsement. Educators holding an elementary education (K-8) and/or early childhood education (PK-3) endorsement may be assigned to arts courses at the appropriate developmental levels for which they are prepared. Learn more about the policy details (document).

Library media

School districts make the decision as to whether or not a teacher librarian needs to hold a library media endorsement. Learn more about the policy details (document).

English language development

Classroom teachers funded through the English language development program (Transitional Bilingual Instruction Program or TBIP) are required to hold bilingual education or English language learner (ELL) endorsements. Please contact the OSPI bilingual education program for more information.

Outside of the TBIP program, regular out-of-endorsement policy applies.

Title I, Part A

Title I, Part A is a federal program designed to provide all children with the significant opportunity to receive a fair, equitable, and high-quality education, and to close educational achievement gaps. The OSPI Title II, Part A program office at [email protected] can provide information on the professional qualification and notification requirements for this program.

Braille instruction

Providers of Braille instruction must demonstrate competency in Unified English Braille.

Certificated providers of Braille instruction hold an educator certificate and are assigned to provide instruction in Braille to students.

Classified providers of Braille instruction produce Braille materials or provide instruction in Braille to students. They work under the supervision of certificated staff.

What are the requirements for providers of Braille instruction?

Successful completion of one of the following:

  • the Braille competency test developed by Washington State School for the Blind, or
  • the National Literary Braille Competency Test

Each school district is responsible for monitoring the appropriate assignment of providers of Braille instruction. Individuals have one year from the date of hire to successfully pass the testing requirements. Individuals must pass a recertification exam every five years.

  • Ogden Resource Center with the Washington State School for the Blind
  • The  National Certification in Unified English Braille
  • Board materials (folder) on Braille standards
  • WAC 181-82-130
  • WAC 392-172A-02090(1)(f)
  • RCW 28A.155.105
  • Senate Bill 1078

Dual credit

Dual credit provides students with the potential to earn high school and college credit at the same time.

Dual credit courses have state level requirements for teachers including specific endorsements or types of certificates, and they may also have program-specific requirements. For example, Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses are matched with Washington State endorsements in the same way that other courses are.

Endorsement matches for these courses are found using PESB’s assignment tool , and out-of-endorsement policy can apply.

  • In addition to state endorsement requirements, the College Board sets criteria for the teaching of AP courses .
  • Similarly, there are other requirements in addition to state endorsements for teaching IB courses .

School districts interested in offering dual credit should consult with the specific program of interest, and further questions can be directed to the OSPI dual credit office .

Schools who participate in, or are interested in Cambridge International, can visit their website for requirements for teaching CI .

Teachers assigned to teach College in the High School (CHS) need to be approved by the college or university supporting the high school course. Colleges and universities who participate in CHS post their specific teaching requirements on their website and are responsible for determining policies and practices for these courses.

Online learning

Online learning can be offered through approved online school programs and course providers. In these online programs, the instructors are required to hold a Washington State teacher certificate, and out-of-endorsement policy applies as it would to in-person learning. Find out more from the OSPI online learning office.

Contracted third party online course providers are required to provide instructors with a Washington State teacher certificate and an endorsement in their content area.

All districts providing remote instruction must ensure that all teachers hold a valid Washington State teacher certificate even if they are not using an OSPI approved online provider. RCW 28A.410.025 .

First Peoples’ Language, Culture, and Oral Traditions Certification

First Peoples’ languages are falling silent. This is a loss to the cultural heritage of the affected tribes and to the cultural resources of Washington State. Teaching First Peoples’ languages can be a critical factor in successful educational experiences and promoting cultural sensitivity for all students. Find out more about First Peoples’ certificates .

PESB maintains government-to-government agreements with the sovereign tribal nations who set the specific requirements for these certificates, but the certificates themselves are Washington state teacher certificates.

PESB does not set policy on compensation, but there is nothing in PESB policy that would imply a different compensation scale for holders of First Peoples’ Certificates than for holders of any other teacher certificate.

Teachers holding a First Peoples’ language, culture, and oral tribal traditions certificate may only be assigned to the language(s)/culture(s) on the certificate unless they also hold a valid teacher certificate with other endorsement areas ( WAC 181-78A-700 ; WAC 181-79A-140 ).

Other programs

Courses from a number of other programs appear in the PESB assignment tool , including Bridges to College Math and English , Project Lead the Way (PLTW) , and the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) .

For all of these programs, assignment policy applies as it would to other courses, and individuals should consult the individual program for program-specific requirements.

Certificate types and assignment policy

Teachers with residency, professional, transitional, emergency, endorsed initial, or endorsed continuing certificates are eligible for placement on an out-of-endorsement basis (document). Teachers with a permit for a certificate are subject to the assignment policy for that specific certificate.

Limited and substitute certificates

Limited certificates.

Limited certificates require the request of a school employer and application by the educator. Individuals with a limited certificate may only serve in the district which requested the certificate ( WAC 181-79a-231 ).

Conditional. Teachers with conditional certificates may not be placed out-of-endorsement. However, school districts may request additional endorsements for conditional certificates through the OSPI certification office .

Conditional CTE. Educators must have a CTE certificate with a broad area or specialty area specific to the CTE course they are instructing. These certification requirements may be tied to funding. For information on requirements for instructing CTE courses, please contact the OSPI Career and Technical Education office, and see the CTE CIP code (course code) and V-code (area code) chart (PDF). Find out more about the requirements and request process for conditional CTE certificates .

Transitional. Teachers with a transitional certificate are eligible for placement on an out-of-endorsement basis. Find out more about transitional certificates .


Guidance on assigning substitutes and certificates can be found in this document .

Emergency substitute. Individuals with emergency substitute certificates may only serve as substitutes if the district has exhausted or reasonably anticipates it will exhaust its list of qualified substitutes. Emergency substitute certificates do not hold an endorsement, and as such, the individual is neither in- nor out-of-endorsement. Learn more about emergency substitute certificates .

Intern substitute. Individuals with an intern substitute certificate can serve as substitutes in the absence of their cooperating teacher(s). They may serve only in the classroom(s) to which they have been assigned as a student teacher or intern. Intern substitute certificates do not hold an endorsement, and as such, the individual is neither in- nor out-of-endorsement. Find out more about intern substitute certificates .

Substitute. The “lifetime” substitute certificate is not a limited certificate and the application for this certificate can be initiated by the individual. Individuals with a substitute certificate may serve in any district in the state. Substitute certificates do not hold an endorsement, and as such, the individual is neither in- nor out-of-endorsement.

A substitute may serve in one assignment during the absence of regularly certificated staff for up to one hundred eighty days in a school year.

If an individual with a substitute certificate serves in a single assignment for more than thirty days, the employer must develop a plan of professional learning that is appropriate to the assignment and designed to support professional growth. This plan must enhance the teacher’s instructional knowledge and skills in order to assist students in meeting the state learning goals. The plan must be developed within fifty days of beginning of the assignment ( WAC 181-79a-232 ).

Learn more about the requirements for obtaining a substitute certificate .

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Board Member Assignments

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Ewing Township Board of Education Board Member Assignments

The Ewing School Board works as a "whole" so that all members receive the same information at the same time, discuss issues and options together and come to a mutual decision. By the whole board being able to give full consideration to issues, the district benefits from the best thinking of all board members. “Working as a Board of the Whole” by Toby R. Simon, NJSBA, is a useful explanation of this.

There are community and educational efforts that have traditionally required Ewing board member representation. These assignments are made by the Board President at the time the School Board re-organizes. What follows is a current list, with the primary designee listed first, and the alternate second, along with a brief description of the assignment. All representatives are encouraged to report on their respective assignments at Board meetings. Contact Dennis Nettleton to have your report included on the agenda.

Ad-hoc committees may be formed by the Board president at other times, due to certain key issues or activities being overseen by the board.

Liaison to Ewing Township Council — C. Conway (Alternate – D. Angebranndt)

Attend occasional town council meetings and maintain communication link with town council’s liaisons to School Board.

Delegate to the Mercer County School Boards Association — M. Miller

Attend the local meetings sponsored by the County Board, encourage other board members to attend, and become acquainted with NJSBA field staff who attend.

Delegate to the NJ School Boards Association — C. Conway (Alternate – D. Angebranndt)

Attend the Delegate Assembly, held twice a year, as voting member for Ewing Board. Share the issues before the Assembly meets with the Board for their input and report on results.

Information is also in School Board Notes and placed on the NJSBA website prior to the meeting. If a delegate is not registered, the DA handbook is mailed to the Business Administrator.

Barbara Deveney, Administrative Assistant to the General Counsel, New Jersey School Boards Association Phone: 609-278-5256                                   Fax: 609-394-1103           [email protected]

Representative to the Vocational Coordinating Council of Mercer County — N. Harris

Attend the discussions with the ten county school districts on the long range plans of the vocational schools.

Liaison to the Ewing Public Education Foundation — J. Miller

Inform Board of the Foundation’s activities. 1 st Monday of each month @ 7:30pm in FMS teacher’s lounge; if school is closed that Monday, the meeting is held the following Monday. During summer months the meetings are generally held at a trustee’s home. Karl Clark - [email protected]

Superintendent Evaluation/Board Self-Evaluation/Board Solicitor Committee—D. Delutis (Alternate—M. Miller)

Prepare the instrument for evaluation of leadership skills, tabulate results and draft the formal evaluation document, and oversee the board discussion. Also initiate the board self-evaluation process.

Liaison to the Ewing Township Green Team – S. Herrington

District Technology Committee Member – J. Miller

Sustainable Facilities Committee – D. Delutis, L. McConnell, A. Messina, M. Miller Negotiations – A. Messina, L. McConnell, M. Miller

District Evaluation Advisory Committee (DEAC) – J. Miller

Each school district is required to convene a District Evaluation Committee (DEAC) composed of a diverse group of stakeholders to advise the district on the implementation of AchieveNJ.

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5 Ways to Ace Discussion Board Assignments in an Online Class

Online students who want high marks on discussion boards should contribute early and back up their arguments.

Ace Online Course Discussion Board Tasks

Student researching material on the internet

Students who want to impress their online instructor should make sure their posts reference relevant class material, experts say. (Getty Images)

There's no hand raising in an online classroom – and no vigorous head nodding when a classmate makes a great point. In a virtual class, there's no chance to approach an instructor after a lecture to ask about the day's discussion. 

If online college students want to have a real conversation about class material, they have one place to do it: the discussion board, a major component of most online courses.

Ideally, discussion boards help online students connect with the course's instructor, their classmates and with the content being taught, Justin Harding, senior director of instructional design and new media at Arizona State University—Tempe , explained in an email.

"Discussion boards are a great way to address all three aspects, especially in encouraging students to engage and learn from each other. With this approach, learners address various levels of thinking skills from understanding information to analysis and synthesizing new information in their communications via discussions," Harding says.

When online discussion boards work as intended, students can actually learn more from them than from other parts of class , instructors say. But getting the most out of a discussion board – and earning the high marks to show for it – isn't always easy for students. 

Below experts share tips for how to ace the discussion board component of online classes.

Reading Directions Is Key

The biggest key to doing well on a discussion board is simply reading the teacher's instructions, says Noam Ebner, who teaches in the online graduate program in negotiation and conflict resolution at the  Creighton University School of Law . "Read the syllabus," he says. "In the syllabus teachers often say straight out, 'This is what we want.'"

Syllabuses typically outline how often to post in the discussion board, what to include in each contribution and the appropriate length of responses to classmates' posts.

"Many of our faculty use rubrics for assignments, including discussion posts, so that students have a clear understanding of how they can meet all components for the assignment," says Cheryl Kohen, director of the Division of Online Studies at Daytona State College in Florida.

Students should also be prepared with the appropriate technology, Harding says. That may mean a webcam or microphone, depending on the technology specifications outlined by the instructor.

Say Something Substantive

While online instructors want to hear student opinions on discussion boards, they want those opinions to be backed up by facts. Citing sources from inside and outside of materials covered in class can cut back on plagiarism and make a student's argument seem more legitimate, experts say.  

Students should also keep in mind that discussion boards are meant to be conversations, where each post builds on the previous comment.  

"Good response posts are response posts that do not only agree or disagree," Ebner says. "When you read another student's post, you have the ability to expand the conversation." To do that, students can reference material or, when appropriate, relate it to their own life experience, he says. 

Don't Procrastinate

"Participate early and not at the deadline," says Brian Redmond, a teaching professor of labor and employment relations at Pennsylvania State University—University Park .

"If everybody participates at the deadline, the quality of the conversation is very, very surface level and doesn't delve anywhere close to where it should be for a thoughtful and informative discussion," he says.

Ask a Question if You're Confused

If a student is stumped on an assignment, help is often only an email away or even available in an online forum.

"There are a variety of resources available for learners depending on the more specific issue they might be encountering with discussion boards ," Harding says.

He cites course community forums as a resource where students can ask for clarity on assignments from the instructor or other students. Other resources include the ASU writing center and IT help desk. Similar resources can be found at colleges across the U.S. with robust online programs.

Review Content for Clarity and Tone

Use textspeak in a discussion post, and your instructor will not be LOL, experts say. Students should write in clear, complete sentences. Swear words, writing in all capital letters and using multiple exclamation points are off limits.  

Students should read over their posts for tone to make sure they don't offend their peers, experts say. And if students are struggling to craft a well-written post, they can always reach out to a tutor or a writing center, Harding says. 

And don't forget about the instructor. Kohen notes that some professors will provide feedback to help students out.

"Many of our faculty are now using videos to engage with online learning, including in a discussion setting. They might create a brief video micro-lecture, which highlights the specific aspects of the assignments and provides more personalized feedback for online learners," Kohen says.

Trying to fund your online education? Get tips and more in the U.S. News Paying for Online Education center.

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Board of Education Commitee Assignments

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Committee Assignments 12/2022 - 12/2023

Chair : Scott Clayton

Vice Chair : Dan Nostin

Bill Foster

Kara DiBartolo

Alternate – Jennifer Larsen


Chair : Jennifer Ackerman

Vice Chair : Jennifer Larsen

Courtney Martin

Cathy Schaefer

Alternate – Kara DiBartolo


Chair : Bill Foster

Vice Chair : Scott Clayton

Jennifer Larsen

Alternate – Courtney Martin


Chair : Courtney Martin

Vice Chair : Cathy Schaefer

Jennifer Ackerman

Alternate – Scott Clayton

Inquiries regarding the Bethel Public Schools nondiscrimination policies should be directed to:

  • Dr. Kristen Brooks
  • Assistant Superintendent
  • 1 School Street
  • Bethel, CT 06801
  • Phone: (203) 794-8613
  • email: [email protected]
  • Dr. Christine Sipala
  • Director of Special Education and Pupil Services
  • Phone: (203) 794-8616


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