Assignment Design Charrette

Tuesday, January 16, 2018
9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Kellogg West Conference Center
Pomona, CA

Click here for a draft of the program schedule.


Assignments are powerful teaching tools, and their design is one of the most consequential intellectual tasks that faculty undertake in their work as educators. Yet that work is often private and unavailable for collegial exchange and knowledge building. The charrette—a term borrowed from architecture education, denoting a collaborative design process—will be an opportunity to talk with other faculty interested in trading ideas about the design and use of the various tasks, projects, papers, and performances we set for our students. Thoughtfully designed assignments can support learning-centered curricular and pedagogical reform and create clearer, more powerful pathways for students. And for faculty, working together on the design of assignments has turned out to be a powerful professional development experience. Participants will engage in a peer review process of assignment review and design. ​

The charrette aims to 1) stimulate ideas about how to strengthen the assignment you bring to the session, 2) think together about how assignments can be intentionally linked to important course, program, and institutional learning outcomes in ways that create more coherent pathways for students, and 3) open up a productive “trading zone” about teaching and learning.

Intended Audience

This workshop is designed for faculty and other campus professionals involved in teaching and curriculum design as well as those engaged in faculty development.


Natasha Jankowski is Director of the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA) and research assistant professor with the department of education policy, organization and leadership at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She is co-author, along with her NILOA colleagues, of the book Using Evidence of Student Learning to Improve Higher Education, and has an upcoming book with David Marshall titled, Degrees That Matter: Moving Higher Education to a Learning Systems Paradigm. Her main research interests include assessment, organizational evidence use, and evidence-based storytelling. She holds a PhD in higher education from the University of Illinois, an MA in higher education administration from Kent State University and worked with the Office of Community College Research and Leadership studying community colleges and public policy.

David Marshall is a Senior Scholar with the project and serves as a Professor of English and Director of the University Honors Program at California State University San Bernardino. He facilitated the Lumina Foundation-funded Tuning projects nationally from 2010 to 2016, working with states, regions and national disciplinary associations to identify essential learning within disciplines and develop strategies for campus-based engagement with the resulting learning outcomes. His research, taken from a practitioner lens, explores issues of alignment and curriculum mapping as a complex collaborative process in higher education, both within institutions and across institutions nationally. He is the author of Tuning American Higher Education: The Process, co-author of Roadmap to Enhanced Student Learning, co-editor of a special volume of New Directions in Institutional Research on Degree Qualifications Profile (DQP) and Tuning, and has an upcoming book with Natasha Jankowski titled, Degrees That Matter: Moving Higher Education to a Learning Systems Paradigm. A graduate of College of the Holy Cross, he earned his Master’s degree in Medieval Studies from the University of York, England and his Ph.D. in English from Indiana University.

Lodging:  Participants are responsible for their own hotel reservations. Kellogg West Conference Center and Lodge, located on the Cal Poly Pomona campus, is offering WSCUC workshop participants a discounted room rate of $100.00 Single $105.00 Double/night plus occupancy tax. To reserve rooms, contact the conference center at 909-869-2222. Mention “WSCUC – WASC Senior College and University Commission” to secure our group discount rate. The deadline for booking rooms in the WSCUC room block is January 4, 2018 or while rooms are available.

Registration: Registration fee includes lunch. Beverages and snacks will be available during breaks. Attendees will be on their own for all other meals.

Registration fees: $300/per team member. After the registration deadline, if space is available, the late registration fee will be $360 /per team member.

Discount for Combined Registration: Building a Culture of Quality will be offered on January 17 at Kellogg West Conference Center. The special rate for a combined registration for Building a Culture of Quality and Assignment Design is $525 until 1/5/2018. After the registration deadline, if space is available, the late registration fee will be $645/per team member.

Registration deadline:  January 5, 2018


This educational program has been developed by national and regional experts and is offered as a service to WSCUC member institutions and others who wish to learn about good practices applicable to all institutions. It is entirely optional, and our hope is that member institutions will find it helpful. WSCUC staff will be present to answer questions related specifically to accreditation expectations.

Event Details

Date: January 16, 2018 - 9:00am to January 16, 2018 - 4:00pm

Fee: Free