Facilitate Effective Teaching: Pointers to Consider When Giving Assignments
The assignment is that part of a lesson assigned as a particular task to the pupils/students what they are expected to accomplish in the lesson; the assignment as an academic duty or job that may be done in class or at home. The assignment may be in the form of a project to be accomplished, a research topic on health and sanitation, causes of drug addiction, a theme to be written, a literary selection to be memorized, understood and interpreted, an interview with a government official or a problem to be solved in Mathematics. These learning activities are parts of the teaching-learning cycle.
The assignment serves as the primary means of stimulating and directing various learning activities undergoing inside or outside the classroom. It helps in developing favorable attitudes toward the learning task to be done by the learners. It also serves as a means of developing desirable study habits and promotes independent work.
The value of the assignment in the teaching-learning process cannot be over-emphasized for it has long been recognized by educators and even students. The meaning, importance and functions of assignment provide impetus to achieve learning goals.
Characteristics of a Good Assignment
An effective assignment will certainly help the teacher take care of the important phase of the teaching-learning situation to achieve the desired results. Authorities on principles and methods of teaching and learning agree that there are requisites of a good assignment to be observed and to be executed. These are:
- A good assignment should be clear and definite.
- A good assignment should relate new learning experiences to the old.
- A good assignment should be significant to the learner and relate to contemporary issues.
- A good assignment should stimulate the imagination of the learner by way of thinking and clarifying the learning task; besides being challenging.
- A good assignment should be adapted to the learner's ability.
- A good assignment should be comprehensive and should have a wide range of interesting learning activities.
- A good assignment should relate to real-life situations.
Pointers to Consider When Giving Assignments
To arouse interest and enthusiasm when giving assignments, it is important that the learners realize the value of doing the learning task. The importance of motivation is necessary so that the assigned job will be done with eagerness and zeal.
There is no fixed time when the assignment for a particular topic or subject matter should be given. Perhaps the proper time is when the psychological moment learners are receptive and eager with anticipation of a new learning task.
The following are some pointers the teacher should keep in mind when giving assignments.
- The learners should know the aims of the assignment. They will readily do the learning task with zeal and enthusiasm if these assignments are worthwhile.
- All instructions regarding directions, steps and procedures, availability of reference materials, problems and difficulty that may arise, and the time frame should be made clear to the learners.
- The criteria to be used during the evaluation should be made clear to the learners.
- Assignments should not be given as a form or punishment.
- Teachers should refrain from giving tedious and long assignments.
- Assignments should be within the learning ability to the learners.
- Assignments should be varied, interesting, and challenging. Pupils/students will exert their effort to do the project if they know that they are worthwhile.
- Assignments must make use of past learning experiences of the learners.
- Assignments must be corrected within a reasonable period and be returned to the pupils/students.
The assignments as parts of the lesson are essential components of the teaching-learning process and, therefore, the teacher should make every effort to make the assigned learning tasks interesting and meaningful.