From Faculty Focus: Approaches for Sharing Assignment Due Dates + Achieve!

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The challenge of making sure students are well aware of assignment due dates and how to clearly communicate those dates - and even adjust if necessary - is something instructors often cite as an issue.  Faculty Focus' informative and helpful feature article this week is entitled "Six Approaches for Sharing Due Dates".  I found over the course of 40+ semesters that while you'd like to think the syllabus would suffice, students needed reminders and somewhere on the course page a calendar where they could see what was due and when.   

Nicely, in addition to the six methods suggested in the article there is a seventh option for Achieve users with the calendar feature!   For students in Achieve, due dates for assignments are also shown in the Course Content and Resource Type views under the calendar icon. If the item is not assigned, there will not be a due date.  For instructors, the calendar in Achieve allows you to view and compare your due dates for the month at a glance, and easily make adjustments as needed using drag and drop. You can even create extensions by selecting a particular student or group's calendar and editing due dates from there.

The article is summed up with this paragraph that applies regardless of which method(s) you use!   

"Whichever approach or approaches are used to share due dates with students, there are some considerations to keep in mind. First, ensure that the published due dates for all methods of sharing those due dates are aligned to avoid the confusion of one due date in the Table and another for the same assignment shared in a weekly announcement. Building the course schedule so assignments are due the same day of the week each week provides consistency and repetition for students (Shipp, 2020). Second, one method approach might work better with a particular course than another, or instructors might prefer one approach over another. It can often be beneficial to ask a class of students about their preferred method at the start of the semester. We can help students developmentally progress by initially meeting them where they are at. Whichever approach works for the instructor to share information and for the students to receive clear and accurate due dates might be the “best” approach. "

About the Author
Jamie Pope, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Assistant Professor of Practice in Medicine, Health and Society at Vanderbilt University, has worked in the areas of obesity research, health promotion, heart disease prevention, and since 2000 teaching introductory nutrition. Beyond the classroom, she adapted portions of her nutrition courses to produce a Massive Open Online Course attracting more than 175,000 participants from around the world. This experience earned Jamie an Innovation in Teaching award from the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. She is the co-author of the textbook entitled Nutrition for a Changing World. Now in its second edition, the text is in use in over 140 universities across the U.S. and the recipient of a 2020 Textbook Excellence Award. Most recently she developed and produced an audio course for Learn25.com (Nutrition 101: Understanding the Science and Practice of Eating Well) that is also featured on platforms like Apple Books and Audible. Jamie holds a Master’s of Science degree in Nutrition and post graduate work in Health Psychology. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She has authored or contributed to numerous scientific and popular press publications. Jamie also held several corporate positions, serving as nutrition consultant and media representative.