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Designing and Assessing WAC Programs What is a WAC program? Good writing assignments also often take shape by thinking backwards.As you think about making up writing assignments, use these five principles: Although it might seem awkward at first, working backwards from what you hope the final drafts will look like often produces the best assignment sheets.We recommend jotting down several points that will help you with this step in writing your assignments: Writing tasks fill many different roles for students, so defining good writing assignments begins with the specific instructional context.For that reason, the first key to writing a good assignment is tying the task to the specific course goals.After taking your class and its goals into account, though, several other principles can improve the writing tasks you assign and the writing you get from students.Although some experts (Freedman ., 1994) argue that setting up a fictitious scenario with a specified audience does not motivate students any more highly than simply writing for the teacher, other practitioners across the disciplines have seen improvement in student writing when they use cases with embedded audiences for students' documents.(See, for instance, Brumberger, 2004; Cass & Fernandez, 2008; Stevens, 2005; Sulewski, 2003.) A further extension of this move toward providing rich writing contexts beyond the teacher involves writing tasks that actually target real readers.Perhaps most important, as noted in the five principles section, is to consider the rhetorical situation.By this, writing experts mean that you should think carefully about the audience you want students to write to as well as the particular genre or format for the final document and the larger context for the document.Your job mandates that you read carefully and respond to their texts.Chinn & Hilgers (2000) explain this role for the teachers as often limited to "corrector." However, instructors can move beyond the corrector role into a "collaborator" role by varying writing tasks, encouraging peer collaboration, and emphasizing professional contexts for writing.

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