The University of Minnesota Libraries has created an enhanced version of the Assignment Calculator currently in beta (January 2009). It allows faculty and students to adapt their own assignments from a bank of existing assignments (e.g. research paper, speech, video, etc.) or create their own from scratch.

This new version of the Calculator is tied to University of Minnesota internet ID's; therefore you will need a password to access it. Please contact us if you need a username and password to allow you access to the beta.

We hope to make the source code for the beta available late spring 2009

University of Minnesota Libraries

August 15, 2013

Calculator for Survival


Assignment Survival Kit: ASK from the University of Kent in the UK

ASK can help you plan your time when completing assignments.

June 12, 2013

Another one


The Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia also has a version of the Assignment Calculator:

September 12, 2012

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes...we have just re-launched the Assignment Calculator!

Web Development and Web Presence Management Group (with help from the Teaching and Learning Collaborative and a variety of staff) have been working over the summer to updated the tool. It has features that our old "beta" version had--like the ability for students and instructors to modify assignments or create one from scratch and the ability to get emails. It also has new features like "assignment to-do list" and "My active assignments." It is linked on the "Course Resources" tab.

Available "assignments":

  • Research paper
  • Speech
  • Video Project
  • Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) Proposal
  • Primary Sources Research Project
  • Lab Report
  • Poster (in PowerPoint)
  • CLA Math Senior Project

Posted by katep at 10:49 AM · Enhancements

October 10, 2011

News on "Beta"

We have some news on the Assignment Calculator. We learned back in April, 2011 that the Calculator wasn't working with the then new version of Firefox. We added a disclaimer to the top of the page to have folks try it in another browser. We hoped the next version for Firefox might fix the problem but this has not happened. The Calculator has other issues and we have decided to remove the "beta" version as of September 2011.

Hopefully this is a temporary disruption and hopefully we will have more information to share soon.

Please also pass along any comments or questions--we are happy to follow up with individuals as needed.

Posted by katep at 1:18 PM

January 3, 2011

New assignment: Primary Research

primary_cartoon.jpgWe are please to announce a new type of assignment for the Assignment Calculator--Primary Sources Research Project. We created this in close partnership with folks from all around the the Archives and Special Collections.

This was built around work with the "How to do History" class we work with for History majors. We hope to continue to make small modifications throughout the semester as this gets used.

1. Understand what primary sources are and what sources you can use to complete your assignment.
2. Read and understand your assignment. Select a topic of interest.
3. Do background research on your topic.
4. Start searching for primary sources. Create a list of materials to use for your research.
5. Request and access primary materials for your research. Request copies or scans of materials. Collect citation information.
6. Develop an outline for your project. Revise your thesis statement if needed.
7. Conduct additional research to fill in gaps or answer questions as necessary.
8. Revise & rewrite. Finalize citations
9. Proofread, polish and put project in final form

Go to to view the new assignment.

Posted by katep at 3:43 PM

Assignment Survival Kit

Came across this example of the Assignment Calculator from Staffordshire University:

Assignment Survival Kit:


Posted by katep at 3:33 PM

November 2, 2010

Help for Undergraduate Research Opportunities (UROP) Proposal

UROP.jpgA new template for the Assignment Calculator has been created. It steps students through the process of submitting a proposal to the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) and allows them to customize the template according to their timeline. Janice Jaguszewski, Kate Peterson, and Jody Kempf worked with staff from the UROP office to draft the UROP assignment calculator. The UROP assignment calculator is available as one of the tools on the University Libraries Course Resources tab or at: We encourage faculty and staff to share with students as a resource that can simplify the process of applying for a UROP grant. We welcome feedback on the calculator and suggestions of resources to be added to it.

Posted by katep at 9:17 AM

September 10, 2010

Now anyone can store and access their own assignments!

In August, Minitex released its expanded and improved Research Project Calculator for public use!

This version allows anyone to create an account, regardless if you are a Minnesota resident or not! This means you can store and edit your own assignments.

Thanks to Minitex, you will also be able access the code to the Research Project Calculator this Fall under an open source license. For institutions interested in integrating it into existing authentication systems, it also includes a simple API to create authentication plugins in PHP.

Stay tuned for updates on the source code release!

March 2, 2010

Code for GWT version of AC

Below is an open source version of the new Assignment Calculator written using the Google Web Toolkit (GWT). IF you would like to play with the code and/or help us out feel free to download it:

The original student programmer has included these instructions. Warning! This is not for the faint of heart.

1.) Download Eclipse Classic. This will be the IDE in which to make changes, and compile the project.

2.) Download the Google Web Toolkit SDK to a certain directory.

3.) Start Eclipse, and install GWT plugin for Eclipse
Instructions are here:

4.) In Eclipse, do an 'Import-->Existing project into workspace...-->' and then select the directory where you downloaded and unzipped the

5.) Once the project is open, there are two files that need to be changed depending on how you want to run the application:
a.) src/edu/umn/lib/client/ lines 25 and 42: use the appropriate authentication class. The TestAuthentication basically signs into the system using fixed credentials that are located in the file. If you want to use X500, then use the X500Authentication class. I refactoried it such that anyone else can just extend the Authentication class in order to implement their login/authentication system.
b.) src/edu/umn/lib/server/ line 20: change to point to the correct mysql database, with correct credentials.

6.) Compile the project:
click the GWT compile button GWT Compile Project button in the toolbar.

7.) Run the project from eclipse:
Right-click on the project name, then select 'Run As -> Web application'. A url will show up that you can use to test the app.

Posted by snackeru at 12:55 PM

November 10, 2009

Updates to code coming

Just a heads-up that Minitex is rewriting its Research Project Calculator implementation to bring its teacher
resources into the AC beta, with an eye toward extensibility.

It will be written with on PHP / MySQL foundation to meet the platform requirements of the broadest range of potential installing institutions.

The target for completion is winter 2010.

Posted by jveldof at 8:30 AM · Enhancements


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Recent Entries
Calculator for Survival
Another one
Like a phoenix rising from the ashes...we have just re-launched the Assignment Calculator!
News on "Beta"
New assignment: Primary Research
Assignment Survival Kit
Help for Undergraduate Research Opportunities (UROP) Proposal
Now anyone can store and access their own assignments!
Code for GWT version of AC
Updates to code coming

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