The “open-ended” project has never been one of my favorites. I tend to feel a little lost when I have too much freedom for an assignment. While it forces me to be more creative, it also takes a lot of planning and thinking ahead of time. I guess this is the point, to make students think more critically and really consider a main focus.
I much prefer projects that have very strict guidelines. I like to have a set of instructions to follow so that I know that I am taking the right steps and not getting lost in an idea that I can’t really comprehend. This form of assignments can be boring and generic, but it makes it so much easier to successfully meet the criteria. I can definitely see how a professor would prefer this type of assignment too, since it makes it easy for them to use a checklist when grading. However, even though I prefer this type of work, I don’t think that it is beneficial to anyone to simplify work to this point.
The whole point of my Writing and Digital Media class has been to get us out of the habit of doing generic projects and teach us how to come up with thoughtful ideas and use them to create something original and multimodal. I think that classes like this teach students how to become more analytical in the way that we go about our assignments and I have found that it allows for much more creative thinking.