Homework is a quite dreadful word in a student’s academic life. Internet is filled with sites and articles on problems and troubles of students regarding homework.How students are uncomfortable with their assignments, should homework be there at all, why they are necessary, whether they are harmful or not, etc.A student’s view of homework which is not usually very positive is vastly found on web.
Responsibilities of students regarding their homework are something that every parent, teacher and institution speaks about. But, there are also responsibilities of teachers about assigning homework to their students. Surprised? But, that is a fact.So, before we question about or seethe responsibilities of students regarding their assignments, we should see whether their teachers are doing their parts and duties properly before setting home assignment.
Like there are rules and steps for students to do better in their studies, there are unwritten steps and procedures for teachers too which they should follow to make sure that homework that they set is effective enough.Here are some popular steps and methods that every teacher should take while setting homework.
- Setting a homework syllabus
Like there is a syllabus for exams and tests, there should also be a syllabus for homework set by teachers.If you are a teacher, then your duties are:
- Break up this main exam syllabus into parts, depending on number of home assignments you are planning to set.
- Allot oneof these parts or topics to each of the homework that you give. Like, my first home assignment will be on these three topics,the second one will be on this next topic and so on.
- Make sure that this distribution of topics is more or less even. For example, this should not happen that one assignment has two topics while next one has five.
- Follow this preset homework syllabus thoroughly and sincerely, or else it might so happen that you fail to finish the main exam syllabus.
In this way a teacher can structure a framework for setting homework which will not only help him or her in assigning homework, but also keep their students in a better position.
- Teaching properly
An integral job or rather responsibility which comes even before setting homework is to teach the concerned topic or subject properly. Teaching is an extremely crucial factor for a teacher, as one can guess from the name ‘teacher’.
- As a teacher, you should first make sure that this topic that is to be set for homework is well understood by students.
- It is best to ask in class before giving an assignment, that whether any student has any doubt regarding its topic.
- If there are doubts or dissatisfaction amongst students, then they will be unable to properly finish their work and will never get any interest in it. So, to avoid that you must clear away all doubts at the very beginning of setting homework.
- Make sure that the topic assigned in the given assignment is properly done in class. Do not usually set questions from outside home assignment syllabi.
- However, certain out of the box questions may be set.This is mainly for testing IQ levels and intelligence of students. But on an average, one such question per assignment is enough.
- Keeping an eye on details
The details in an assignment question paper are very important. Main factors that you need to keep in mind for it are:
- A teacher’s question paper for assignment should be equally as neat as a student’s answer script.
- Make sure that it is not a rough hand written paper with scribbling and errors. You may definitely and should always first make a rough question sheet, but do find time to make a fresh and tidy copy of it which is to be handed out to students.The best way is to prepare them on computer and then take a printout.
- Questions should all be clear and straight to the point. A home assignment is not a quiz or a riddle solving test. So, no question should be controversial or have double meanings.
- Keep in mind that the assignments should not be too lengthy.It may resemble an exam pattern, but never should be a sample of three-hour long exam.
These steps are mainly to reduce pressure from students. They will make sure that homework could be solved at ease and do not require hours of engagement. This will do away a bit with the age old hatred of students towards homework and teachers.
- Introducing creativity
Homework is not all about books, copies and assignment papers. There can be other ways and means of doing homework, which a teacher must dig up. Discovering brand new and innovative ways of doing homework is what should be started by teachers.
- Tell the students to read a particular chapter in a subject like geography, history, or science as homework and announce that there will be a quiz contest or something like that in class the next day on that very chapter. Class will be divided in teams and they will play. This will lure them to do their homework or even prepare for questions.
- You can even announce prizes for each student who did their homework successfully and perfectly. If it is a bunch of quite young school student, this prize can be a chocolate or a candy.
- Usually, both teachers and parents give importance to studies and consider TV, games, etc. as rivals of each other. But, Can TV and computer games maximize homework skills?Yes, they can. Every teacher should remember that. There are many science fiction films, seeing which makes a science student wiser. Even films are made on great literary works which are helpful to literature students.
- There are video games too which require a player to take calculated decisions, like chess, crime solving, military games, etc. They can enhance mathematics homework skills.
Hence, even a teacher can think out of the box while setting homework. Homework may include watching of a good film or playing of logical computer games, like chess, Sudoku, crossword, etc.
- Other steps
Apart from these methods, there are other ways to deal with homework giving and assigning problems.If you are new or inexperienced in teaching profession then take help from others around you.
Ask for suggestions from your colleagues, especially older ones. There are also several sites in internet which can help new teachers to find their ways about setting homework. Log onto them and find solutions of all your problems.