One of my fellow faculty offers an alternative assignment in his advanced class. Instead of working on a project of some sort over the course of a 16 week semester, a student may choose to shoot (develop and contact) an entire roll of 135-36 film every day. 7x16= 112 rolls, 4032 exposures in four months. This forces the student to carry the camera with them everywhere they go and look through it constantly, thus teaching them how to really see through the camera. By the end of the 16 weeks, their photographic vision through the lens is far more refined than before. The great photographers don't take one shot and leave, they shoot and shoot and shoot, then edit. The more they shoot the better they get.
Returning to my OP, if this is true, then surely digital photography would have thrown up a plethora of brilliant photographers, which to-date it has not. I would suggest the above exercise forces the student to shoot a film a day rather than how to see through a camera. In fact I would advocate the opposite exercise of perhaps shooting less and observing more.