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  2. Using Assignments for Group Learning and Assessment

What Are the Best Practices to Get the Most Out of Assignments?

Med-Challenger Assignments is a huge advantage in online education. But to get the most from it, you need to think about what to assign and plan. Here are some best practices when using assignments.

Before you make Assignments, determine your goals. 

If you want to "prepare residents for the boards", that's easy once you know your tools. For example...

Board Exam Simulators - they're adaptive. Routine use, say once a month, will give residents an exam review that ensures all materials are seen and mastered without unneeded repeats. It remembers what you've missed, intelligently using it again later. Prep takes less time, but also gives a more effective review.  This is board exam preparation - do it again and again on a schedule - you'll get there faster.

Chapter Exams - Like Board Sims, but material and Q&A are contained to a specific Chapter "area" of a specialty.  Great for rotational structures.  You don't have to follow our list, use in any order.

Baseline Exams - 100 question baseline exams give the same 100 questions to your learners.  A great new cohort "first step" to glimpse who knows what in a comparative view.

By Topic - Topics are little mini exams on specific presentations and conditions.  You can select one topic or a set of topics - or you can create a custom exam and assign it!

Custom Exams (and Authoring) - Create and assign your own questions, use ours or use a mix, then assign your custom exam.

These are just a few application options. Review our help guides for tips.

Batch assign materials for comparative metrics and scheduling ease.

When selecting assignees during assignment creation, you may select one or more individuals or all users  of a particular type to be part of the given assignment. In order to save time and benefit from "assignee group" metrics (like our Hot Spots feature), we recommend assigning all applicable users to any specific assignment all at once.

You can, of course, assign materials to each learner individually, but if you're looking for comparative metrics, assign materials to multiple learners in one assignment.  If you assign the same materials individually to each assignee, you are not getting the full benefit of Assignments - and you'll be adding a ton of unnecessary assignment listing to your activity calendars.

If you batch assign, performance data for all assignees will appear under a SINGLE assignment listing on your Assignment Manager.  Assignee scores will be listed together for easy comparison.  If you don't batch assign, performance data will be separated into distinct assignments.  Hence, don't assign materials separately to each assignee where possible.  Make one assignment and add all of your assignees.

Keep the size and scope of assignments manageable. Small bits.

Using the # of Questions information on the Make Assignments screen will help you manage the size and scope of your assignments.  Assigning an entire course for this Friday will only get you a bunch of angry students.

Our courses provide assignable assignment components for exam prep and adaptive assessment with auto-remediation, as well as, topic based learning segments so it's easy to select bits and pieces of materials for assignment over time.

Allow enough time for compliance.

The start date can be the current date (default), a date in the future, or can even be set retrospectively.

When setting the due date, be sure to allow ample time from the start date for completion.  Staggering due dates can make workload more manageable for Learners and Administrators.

Know what counts as "completion."

In order for an assignment to count as complete, it must be initiated AND scored within the assignment period, i.e., between the effective date and the due date.

If an assignee tells you "but I did it!" that might be true, but they did it outside of your effective window.  This can sometimes occur when deadlines trigger during an assignment attempt.  The late user's completed results are still there.  Just extend the Due date (via Assignment Manager) of the assignment in question through the time when the student did the work.  The late result will display with all other data related to that assignment, if the late completion time is now within the effectivity window.  And, wag a finger.