Revising the lessons the same day it is taught helps students to keep it in memory for long and quality homework assignments can check their understanding on a regular basis.
After spending 6 to 8 hours at school, homework will be a headache for most of the students as it consumes their free time at home.
However, teachers can come up with some good strategies to make it the most exciting and interesting part of their study.
In fact, it is a skill to assign home works tactfully so that students will find it really interesting to work on it and they crave for more.
Let them know that there is a goal behind every assignment and let them feel the pride of accomplishment after every submission.
Here let us have a look at some of the tested and proven tricks and tips that might help teachers to assign homework in a better way to produce effective results.
1. Give them a Clear Picture of the Final Result
Don’t just give an assignment to the students and expect them to complete it with expected quality on time. Rather be more transparent with the objective of each assignment and give them a clear picture of what is expected out of the final product.
This helps them to plan the work accordingly and take the effort to work towards the target. Research suggests that doing for a purpose trains their brain accordingly and the learning they gain through this means can be retained in the memory for long.
2. Provide Enough Time for Homework Submission
The submission time for the homework needs to be realistic so that the students can take enough time to complete it with ease.
Asking them to submit the assignments in an unrealistic time frame causes unwanted pressure and the students may not be able to do their best.
Also if they fail to complete it or if the solution is not found in the time frame, they may lose the confidence they have in the subject.
3. Incorporate a cause into the Homework
Instead of simply giving a vague assignment, try to bring in some cause behind every home works so that students find it more interesting.
Let it be a personal or community cause, students will be all over the assignment to make a notable mark of their given chance.
Whether it is proving right over wrong or powering justice over injustice, students would be prompted to give out their best.
4. Give Feedback in a Timely Fashion
Just like assigning homework, assessing them and giving timely feedback is important. This encourages them to perform better every next time and correct the areas that need improvement.
The assignments without feedbacks are totally ineffective and the students slowly lose the importance of doing it and they will lack the motivation to give their best.
The timely feedbacks also assure complete participation of the students and nobody feels like skipping the work.
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5. Provide them with a Real Audience
Giving a real audience for the work they do makes the assignments more interesting for the students and they take the effort to give out their best.
Having a single teacher to view their creativity may block them to try something different but having a feeling that a group of people are going to see their work can make an impact in the way they approach an assignment.
Let it be a power point talk or project blog, giving them an audience like social media where people of interest makes relevant comments can enhance their spirit to accomplish even challenging tasks.
6. Verify Student understanding of the Assignment
Instead of just assigning the homework and assuming that the students can work on it, take some time out to check the student understanding of the assignment.
Give proper directions to complete the work and explain it in a clear manner so that each student in the class has equal chances of completing it successfully.
7. Give Choices Whenever Possible
Always don’t restrict the assignment problem to just one type but include different types of assignments and let them choose their preferred one.
This may not be possible always but giving such alternates whenever possible keeps up their interest in homework.
Also, give some concessions like choosing to work individually or in groups depending on their choice of assignment.
Try to include difficulty levels in assignment choices where they can choose to solve simple problems individually or take up problems of high difficulty level which can be solved in groups.
8. Try the Flipped Classroom Method
Instead of trying the traditional method of assigning homework, finding interesting alternates such as the flipped classroom method can not only take off the boredom but also produces a quality outcome.
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Let them view video tutorials of a topic at home before it is covered in class and use the class hours for doing assignments.
This gives teachers a live chance to assess their assignments as they do it and give additional explanation and clarifications on the areas that need improvement.
9. Include More Cultural Products
Rather than making it written assignments that include only topics from the syllabus, give them a chance to include more cultural products in the assignment.
As the brain prefers to work in the contexts that are more familiar, including cultural products can make a positive impact on the effectiveness of the assignment.
This may include the elements that are part of their daily routines such as magazines, foods, television shows or sports equipment.
10. Maintain a Well-Structured Schedule
Instead of giving assignments at will, take some effort to maintain a well-structured schedule for the homework.
This helps students to know about the upcoming assignments in advance and plan their study time accordingly.
However, you can give surprise tests once in a while to check their readiness for a subject and that motivates them to keep updated.
11. Incorporate Their Ideas in Assessment Techniques
Don’t always try to dominate with your ideas in classroom assessment techniques. It is always a better choice to incorporate student ideas in the assessment techniques and choose their preferred way of assessment.
This can include creating rubrics, running the hands-on project or creative ways of minimizing the time needed to solve a problem.
If their ideas are appreciated, they get a feeling that they owe the assignment and they can set more clear targets.
If they can internalize the criteria for success, they will be able to give their best.
12. Give Less More Often
It is not a good idea to burden them with lots of assignments which kills their spirit to take up such tasks.
It is always a better strategy to give fewer assignments but give it more often to improve their productivity.
This type of distributed practice can make a better impact on the effectiveness of the assignment as it gears up maintenance and retention.
A single larger practice session may seem futile over the period but multiple smaller practice opportunities will keep up the rhythm and the students will always stay connected to the content.
13. Keep Away From Fluff Assignments
Also, make it to the point that you keep a minimum standard for the assignments given to the students and see that it is relevant for them in some aspect.
A good assignment should be something that can produce a better result with minimal investment of time rather than taking a lot of time for something that doesn’t really serve a purpose.
14. Consider dos and don’ts
Just like every area, there are certainly some dos and don’ts while considering strategies to assign homework for effective results.
Do make sure that the topics in homework are familiar to students and which gives them a feeling that they are making progress.
Do see that the students have enough resources to complete the task and do plan it ahead so that you have enough class time to give directions.
Do not assign works that require complex skills and never use it as just time fillers.
Do not frame the assignments that may satisfy only a certain category of students and don’t assign a work that is redundant.
Moreover, train the students to overcome any sort of challenges they face in their studies so that they can complete the homework assignments with less anxiety.
Use the technology to inform parents about the home works to be completed for lower grade students.
Also, make sure that everybody in the class follows it systematically by intimating even the absentees through emails and support notes to help them do it just like the students who were present in the class.
Mix up the homework styles to avoid boredom and try to include both short term as well as long term assignments.
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