Students write an Op-ed article on a topic relevant to their course. The article is intended to appear opposite the editorial page of a newspaper.
Op-ed articles tend to be relatively brief, sharply focused and succinct opinion pieces. To familiarize students with the form, you can ask them to read examples of Op-ed articles from a variety of sources. To enhance the authenticity of the experience you may ask students to submit their articles to specific periodicals. One of my (Cerbin) former students had an extensive Op-ed article published in her hometown newspaper in southwestern Minnesota based on a project in an educational psychology course.
See the attached Op-ed assignment used by TJ Brooks, Economics Department, UW-La Crosse
The UW-L Department of Political Science and Public Administration provides a student handout and example of an op-ed article at http://www.uwlax.edu/PoliSci/writing_guides.html