Assignments are usually dreaded by students, be it at the primary school level or during postgraduation. Few teachers manage to make their assignments interesting enough for students. Such a trend has made plagiarism rampant in many submissions. It is also not uncommon for children to seek the help of older members in their family to submit the assignment on time.
The top complaint from most children is that assignments are akin to copying texts from reference books. Most students wish for assignments that are not time-consuming and do not require lots of expertise. They also fervently wish that assignments ultimately ‘mean’ something and are not just given for the heck of it. Perhaps it is time for us teachers who have trouble with late or incomplete assignments submissions to have our assignments relooked at.
Here’s a checklist to find out if the quality of assignments given is good, bad or otherwise:
Is the assignment personalized?
Children love to give a personal touch to assignments. Hence, assignments that ask for their point of view on topics, or assignments that ask them to write a poem or story tend to arouse interest in the students. The assignments that require students to conduct home experiments are considered some of the best, as these have a personalized touch and incite learning by doing.
Are the assignments the same for all students?
Students are smart. Often, they are smarter than the teachers expect. Common assignments are thus easily copied by everyone in the class, without any regrets. Such a habit must not be encouraged through assignments that are given en masse. Students should be given different topics as assignments. This may even prompt a discussion among them, on the given topics.
Do students learn from each other during assignments?
Two minds are better than one. Therefore, when more than one student works on a given problem statement, the solutions are noticeably better. Teachers must hence try to involve as many students as possible in the projects assigned to the class. Examples are science projects, plays, etc., which require a group effort. If this is not possible, teachers can also give marks to groups, according to the aggregate marks secured by the members of the group. This will encourage students to peer review their assignments and projects, something that’s very effective in the learning process.
Are assignments time consuming?
Assignments should not come in the way of daily studies and daily play. They should be a healthy part of the day, and should typically be around a half hour to one hour long. Beyond that, the tired minds of students will not work at their optimum capacity. But that’s not to be the case for secondary classes, where assignments are week-long. In such cases, time management is up to the children themselves. But even then, students must not be burdened, lest they grow a dislike to the subject itself!
Are they meant for students or experts?
Science experiments and projects are the usual suspects for an involvement of outside hands in the students’ assignments. This is simply because the expectations of the teachers from these projects are too high. Gone are the days when a student could bring lenses to class to explain phenomena of light, now the student has to come equipped with a PowerPoint presentation, a huge chart with explanations, and thankfully the lenses too. Such work requires expertise, which is expected of graduate students, not primary or secondary class goers.
To sum it up, assignments should be in the interest of students. They should not overburden them, and neither should they pressurize the children to stretch beyond their capacity. Also, assignments should be made more fun, so that the children respond to the demands of the class in a way that is encouraging to the teacher as well as fun for the children! Assignments are not meant to be dreary. They are a way to take back the fun and warmth of classrooms to home, in keeping with the fact that education is a never ending process.
Time spent in school with friends is well spent. Once we leave school and reach home, we bring loads of work to drop-off our pleasure. We find doing homework as the dullest and tiring task of the day. It keeps us away from our loved ones and all the fun activities. Have we ever thought of converting this dull and boring act into a jubilant one! A smart move can cut his load and at the same time helps in improving grades. Looks like a bonanza!
We helped Alia to win over this.
Let’s find out those magical steps that can change our nightmare into a golden dream.
It takes two to tango
Sitting alone and gazing in the books is the depressing thing for Alia. She used to open books and end up dreaming about those ice cream parlors and fun rides. The clock goes round and round and she is left with less time to study and almost no time to play. It is well said, “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” Sitting with parents and older siblings keep us motivated and centered. They turn out to be the quick and easy access to our difficulties. This united participation makes the surrounding cheerful and enchanted. At the same moment, it creates a friendly bond among the family.
Work like a warrior
It is wise to keep things at hand. It takes a lot of time in digging through the satchel and shelves in search of things. Giving a few minutes at the beginning to organize the tools that we may need in between the work, saves us from wasting a big amount of time later. It also keeps Alia away from momentary distractions. This early practice pays a lot in life and brings out a winner. Organization is the skill that is seen in most of the successful persons.
Medicine of music
After all the tedious work in the school, Writing looks like a tiring and exhausting job for both mind and body. Alia adopted the theory of music in sync with the theories of physics and history. Bob Marley has a statement to share, “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” Just to keep in mind that overdose of anything can do less good and more harm.
Make use of technology
Many people may have contrary views in using gadgets while studying, but instead of avoidance we should make good use of them. In the era of advancing science and technology, We cannot keep ourselves deprived of it. Ever since a person brings the gadgets in good use, it will make the best of it forever. Whenever Alia finds things difficult to understand, she switches in the world of internet and in no time, grasps all the things with a clear understanding. In this way, we can connect the text with the virtual world.
Divide and rule
It is the tool that works in almost every situation. By this, we mean segmentation of verbal and written work or taking small breaks in between working on different subjects. (A point to remember – Keep breaks, short and minimal). It rejuvenates the powerhouse of our body and freshen up our thinking process.
Using these simple steps in the routine, everyone can bring the joy of learning in the life. It is easy to run away, but staying and winning over the situation is the best decision taken.
Hope you find it interesting and useful.
Pic Credits – Google Images.