Assignment method as the name suggests students are assigned some tasks-theoretical as well as practical nature for being performed at their parts in the school, at the workshop or laboratory, library or at their home. They are provided necessary guidance instruction and also the specific outlines for completing their assignments in time.
Assignment is a necessary part of the teaching and learning process, helping us measure whether our students have really learned what we want them to learn. While exams and quizzes are certainly favorite and useful methods of assessment, out of class assignments (written or otherwise) can offer similar insights into our students' learning. And just as creating a reliable test takes thoughtfulness and skill, so does creating meaningful and effective assignments.
Undoubtedly, many instructors have been on the receiving end of disappointing student work, left wondering what went wrong, and often, those problems can be remedied in the future by some simple fine-tuning of the original assignment. This paper will take a look at some important elements to consider when developing assignments, and offer some easy approaches to creating a valuable assessment experience for all involved.
Features of the Assignment Method
- More emphasis is given on practical work.
- In this method all aspects of the subject matter are included.
- The teacher has to provide adequate guidance.
- Students get used to doing work on their own.
- Each student works according to his capacity.
- Students develop the habit of fulfilling their responsibilities.
Importance of Assignments
- Homework acts as a motivator of the students. This motivates the student to make maximum use of the acquired knowledge.
- Homework also saves time as it eliminates the need to re-read the lesson in class.
- Homework gives students opportunities to express their ideas through self-activity.
- Apart from the school, the home environment is also necessary to make the knowledge permanent, otherwise the ignorant will be unable to remember the absorbed knowledge.
- Properly planned homework helps in guidance.
- Through homework, students have to write their own answers to the questions. They bring books on various subjects from the library to read at home. This develops the habits of self-study in them.
Types of assignment method
1. Page-by-page assignment
This type is sometimes called the textbook assignment. It designates the number of pages to be covered. Page-by-page assignment is unsatisfactory, but recent studies have revealed that this type is still widely used in the elementary grades.
2. Problem assignment
This type of assignment gets away from the basic textbook idea. It encourages the use of references and stimulates reflective thinking. In this type the problem to be solved is the prime consideration. Special directions and suggestions are important in this type of assignment.
3. Topical assignment
In this kind of assignment the topic to be developed is the prime consideration. This is also a form of textbook assignment which is often given in social and natural science subjects.
4. Project assignment
This is a special type of assignment which is best adapted to vocational courses, to natural science subjects, and in some measure to social science subjects and other content subjects. In this type of assignment a project is considered a unit.
5. Contract assignment
This form of assignment is extensively used in individualized types of instruction with the main purpose of adjusting the task to the ability and interest of the individual.
6. Unit assignment
This type is associated with the Mastery Plan and the Cycle Plan of instruction. It is best adapted to the subjects which are divided into units. The so-called flexible assignment is used with the unit assignment plan.
7. Cooperative or group assignment
Cooperative assignment is most frequently utilized in a socialized type of recitation, or in a project method of instruction. Assignment of this type stimulates pupils to do their own thinking and to organize their materials. Here pupils also participate in determining desirable objectives and in deciding what should be done to attain them. Cooperative assignment can be utilized to advantage in many high school classes.
8. Syllabus assignment
Syllabus assignment is often utilized in the college or university. In this type of assignment, questions and references are given to guide the students. Here again guide questions and other suggestions are given to insure attention to the important points of the lesson.
9. Drill assignment
It is the purpose of this assignment to strengthen the connections formed in the process of growth in mental motor skills. Memorizing a poem or mastery of facts or simple combination facts in Arithmetic are good examples of this type of assignment. Drill assignment, like other type of assignment, should be motivated.
Merits of Assignment Method
1. Development of useful habit:- Assignment method helps in imbibing useful habits like below:
- (a) A sense of responsibility of finishing the task in hand.
- (b) Habit of self study and confidence in one's abilities.
- (c) Self dependency in action and thought.
2. Recognition of individual differences:- The assignment are alloted to the students on the basis of their mental abilities, capacities, interests and aptitudes. They are also allowed to execute their assignments according to their own pace. The brighter ones have not to wait for the slow learners as they can undertake next higher assignments after finishing the one in hand.
3. Provides freedom to work:- There is no restrictions of time both in term of starting and finishing with the assignment. The duration for the execution of the assignment depends upon the mental and physical stamina of the pupil. They may go to the library or work in the laboratory. according to their convenience.
Demerits of Assignment Method
1. Strain on the teacher:- The teacher is expected to work hard in the method for preparing the assignments, assigning these to the students individually or in groups, guiding the students at the proper time in a proper way and evaluating their work.
2. Not suitable to all types of learners:- This method does not suit student of low intelligence and also those having average capacities. Similarly, it cannot also work with the students who are irresponsible or careless and thus cannot be relied to finish their assignment properly in a specified time.
3. Provides stimulation for cheating:- Assignment method may provide temptation or compulsion to a number of students for copying the answers of the questions and results of the experiments from the readily available source or note book of their classmates. If it happens, the very purpose of these assignments is completely lost.
Precautions in the Planning of Assignments
- The selection of homework should be done keeping in view the prior knowledge of the students.
- Homework should be inspirational.
- In the planning of homework, the interests and respects of the students should be taken care of. 4. Homework should be definite and clear.
- Homework should be based on the teaching formula of 'from simple to complex'.
- There should be mutual harmony in homework.
- There should be variety in homework.
- Homework should be useful.