Assignment is a work allotment. It is the work assigned to the student, which may be done by the student at home or at school. There may be a pre-lesson or a post-lesson assignment. Assignment is a sort of undertaking or commitment on the part of the learner. He undertakes upon himself the responsibility of carrying out the work assigned. It may consist of solving a few mathematical problems, understanding a proposition or a group propositions, solving riders based on propositions, making many construction of the same type, preparing illustrations for a topic, collecting mathematical data from the environment, finding out the application of mathematical knowledge, tracing out historical background of mathematical concept, formulating problem on a topic, carrying out a mathematical project etc.
Assignment is a short of self study which supplements class teaching. In Dalton plan, teaching is wholly based on the assignment system.
GUIDELINES FOR PREPARING THE ASSIGNMENT
- Mere dictation of questions or problems is not an assignment. The teacher has to suggest along with it the books to be consulted and the references to be studied. Elaborate hints have to be given for the successful completion of the assignment.
- The assignment should preferably arise out of the activities, needs and interests of the pupils.
- It must motivate, clear up doubts or misunderstandings, and develop insight.
- The task of assignment should be clear and to the point. It is not possible to achieve desired results by indefinite, wide-of-the mask, vague and lengthy assignments.
- The assignment should be a cooperative activity in which the teacher and the pupils take an effective part.
- Weekly assignments are preferable to daily or monthly ones.
CHARACTERISTICS OF ASSIGNMENT
Briefly speaking, the assignment must possess the following characteristics:
- Correlation with previous knowledge and experiences;
- Clarity and definiteness;
- Removal of the pupil’s difficulties;
- Stimulating and directing the learning activity; and
- Recognition of individual differences.
PREPARATION AND EXECUTION OF THE ASSIGNMENT
Before preparing its written form the teacher must discuss and explain the work to be done. The assignment should be well timed so that it caters to the need of additional or supplementary work to be done by the students. The length of the assignments should be adjusted to the age and grade level of the pupils. The teacher may either write it on the blackboard, or dictate it or it may be given in the form of Worksheet. The hints, if any, should be given in a comprehensive way. It should not be allotted to the students as an unexpected and unwanted burden. Assignment is to be considered as an undertaking for cooperative thinking and action. It has to be ensured that the students have accepted the activity. The difficulties must be anticipated and provision made for their removal. There should be advance-planning for the material and the literature to be used. While the assignment is being carried out, there should be proper supervision. The work should be checked, corrected and evaluated in the end. Suggestions may be offered for improvement. The assignment may be repeated after an interval, if it is found below the mark. A record of accomplished assignments by every student may be kept in order to judge individual progress. The students may keep their completed assignments for future reference.
The giving and execution of an assignment may require a judicious choice of the source material, such as reference books, charts, pictures, maps and other illustrative aids. The teacher must familiarize himself with all the available teaching-learning material relevant to the assignment and thus direct his students accordingly. Reference books, encyclopedias, good text-books, and other materials are always useful in stimulating and directing the students’ assignment activity and independent study. A skillful use of source material always creates interest, defines the assignment work in hand, encourages self-study, prevents failure and leads to success.
SUCCESS OF AN ASSIGNMENT
“the success and effectiveness of assignment depends upon the amount of independent work done by the pupils.”
Source: The Teaching of mathematics by KULBIR SINGH SIDHU (Sterling Publisher Pvt Ltd)