The age-old debate on assignment and homework continues, and most people are not sure what they would rather go for. As is commonly misunderstood, assignments and homework are not really substitutes for each other. These are separate terms, indicating separate things, although both are related to study and academics. Assignments and homework have a huge role to play in the academic life of students, and which one is better can obviously be found out with a careful analysis on various parameters.
How is Assignment Different from Homework?
An assignment refers to a piece of work or task, which is assigned to an individual as a part of study course or job. It can help students to understand why he is studying something and what objectives he has to attain from pursuing it. Students are provided with assignments to evaluate attainment, determine and enhance understanding and continue their learning. They need to submit summative and formative assignments by the scheduled date of submission. There will be documentation made on Report Cards and Progress Reports.
Homework, on the other hand, means the tasks that are assigned to students by teachers to be finished at home. This assists students to review the things that they have learned on that same day. On-time completion of homework can assist students to properly understand the topic and make proper preparations for the exam.
Teachers assign homework to students to help them develop their skills of studying and becoming more competent in education. Parents also have a role in homework, to help their child to an extent as well as supervise the completion. Students must submit their own homework, completed largely by themselves.
Functions of Assignments and Homework
The primary functions of assignment include:
- Inspiring students to perform their tasks
- Guiding them on ways to finish their job
- Clearly pointing out about the things that need to be completed
- Examining problems and offering solutions for them
On the other hand, homework just points out the issues and offers the solutions for them to make students ready for exams.
Assignments and Homework – Purpose or Objective
The main purpose of an assignment is to teach students to know how they should study. It has to add to the training of students in this respect.
Homework has many purposes:
- Assisting in preparation
- Helping in having proper practice
- Allowing students to boost their self-confidence
- Assisting in boosting the skills of individuals
- Promoting interaction with other pupils and imbibing knowledge and skills from them
- Assisting students to bond better with their parents and teachers
Assignments are typically more common in the U.S, and homework is commoner in the UK, with state school students being given homework. Assignments are generally long-term, and are spread over many days or even weeks. In comparison, homework is short-term and has to be submitted within small time-frames – such as the next morning or in 24 – 48 hours.
Assignments and Homework – Responsibilities for Students, Teachers and Parents
There are definite roles and responsibilities for students, teachers and parents – whether it comes to assignments or homework.
Teachers have to ensure that students submit summative or formative work within stipulated time. If students fail to finish work within time, they have to be given a warning. 0 grade is awarded for incomplete work. For repeated incomplete or poor submissions, teachers have to notify parents by phone and administration via email. In case of repeated and regular instances of failure to meet expectations from students, strict disciplinary actions can be taken, such as dismissal or suspensions.
Responsibilities for teachers include designing homework that can make students ready for new content or practicing skills they have picked up in class. They have to explain the homework to help students comprehend the content and expectations from them. They supervise the completion of homework and offer feedbacks.
For students, the responsibilities include asking questions when they do not understand the homework. They should not copy the homework from their peers, and must finish it with least amount of help from tutors or parents. They have to finish homework as per the same standards as they maintain in class.
Parents also have a role, in the sense that they should help students when needed. They have to supervise and correct their children when they are wrong and contact teachers if students are unable to finish homework in an expected way.
Assignments or Homework – Which One Has the Edge?
Assignments help in the following ways:
- Helping students revise their subject
- Assisting in understanding and dealing with problems and finding solutions to them
- Making students more confident
- Polishing their knowledge and skill level
Homework also has its benefits:
- Assisting students to prepare better for exams
- Helping students to revise what they go through during school time
- Encouraging them to research on the topic of the homework
- Helping them to comprehend the topic
On the other hand, assignments can be stressful for students – who have to manage more time to complete them. Nevertheless, the same applies to homework as well. In addition, students are unable to spend equal amount of time on each paper. Homework leaves them with little or no time to take part in extracurricular activities, and can be the cause for anxiety for them.
It is difficult to offer a clean answer to which one is actually better – assignment or homework. Both have their pros and cons, and the answer to which one is more beneficial actually depends on the objective or purpose. For students, assignments are better in the sense that they are spread over a long time. These help reduce their stress and anxiety of short-term submissions. These offer an in-depth understanding of the topic and why it has to be studied. Homework helps review and comprehends the things that they have learnt on that day. However, it is short-term and the fact that it has to be submitted shortly puts students under huge stress.