Prepare Template

The Prepare assignment includes a series of questions or tasks to help prepare students to succeed in the Assignment for the week. Your group should first agree upon the tools, sources, and learning goals for your Assignment before writing your Prepare document.

Each group member should list a link to their Prepare common document in their Assignment file.

Prepare assignments can do one or more of the following actions:

1. Check in on what students have learned from reading the Sources.
2. Activate student prior learning. Students have expertise outside the Sources. Prepare documents can invite students to consider what other knowledge they have about a subject, such as language, culture, food, religion, travel, or familial expertise.
3. Create a learning space that centers student learning (not faculty interest) as the most important action.
4. Downgrade or eliminate distractions. For example, an assignment on religion and trade networks might need a Prepare document that highlights the networks, not the distraction of belief systems or goods.
5. Organize new information. When presented with lots of new information, helping students sort that information into groups is useful. Questions such as "What are the most important ideas in this Source?" or "How was the idea of gender used in Sources a,b, and c?"
6. Prepare students to use a digital humanities tool. Students may need a reminder or their use of the tool. For example, "Review your StoryMap from week 6: what did you do well and what would you change?"


  • Write about students in the present tense. For example: "What is your experience traveling on water?"
  • Write about historical actors in the past tense. For example: "What types of government existed in the pre-1400 CE period in South America?"
  • Think about how many words someone will need to complete your prepare. You should shoot for 30-60 minutes of work, depending on how fast a student can type.
  • Prepare documents should be less work than Assignments. Prepare is the appetizer. Assignment is the main course.