One of the main things that frustrate teachers is setting assignments which are ignored or done in a shoddy way. Many teachers would love to find ways to get students to do assignments and actually put a little effort into it. It is normal for an average student to miss one or two assignments here and there, but the problem comes in when specific students don’t do the assignments on a regular basis as this interferes with the entire learning experience. So here, we look at 7 ways to get students to do assignments.
Ways to Get Students to Do Their Assignments
- Enforce completion of assignments
If you have students that consistently fail to do their assignments, you could require them to be in your class during lunch, a free period or after school so that they can complete the work. You can perhaps enlist the help of other teachers that are having a similar problem so that you can share the time spent making sure students complete the work.
- Get the parents involved
This works especially well in junior high school, where the parents are able to assist with homework and assignments. Get the parents to sign off against the required work as the student completes it so that parents can also help motivate the students to get the assignments completed and perhaps also see where they are struggling.
- Offer incentives
For elementary students, you can offer incentives in the form of stickers or stars on a chart for completed work, and a cross through blocks for incomplete work or assignments not turned in. There can also be a reward for achieving a certain amount of stars/stickers and extra work to cancel out the crosses on the chart. For older students, incentives can be in the form of outings, a movie day or something else that students may enjoy. Those who do not complete the assignments are left out of the fun activities which their peers then get to enjoy and discuss afterward.
- Make sure they know it is important
Explain the purpose of the assignments and make sure that you grade and return the completed assignments promptly. If they can see it matters to you, it may also begin to matter more to them. Offer feedback and suggestions on the assignments to improve their work in the future.
Where you pick up significant problems, make an appointment to discuss the issues with the student and try and resolve the problems. Make sure that the assignments are explained in detail and that students have enough time to complete them, but not too much that everything is left to the night before the assignment is due.
- Help them set goals and self-motivate
Spend some time with the students discussing goals and the reasons why work should be completed to the best of their abilities. Help them set their own goals and assist them in learning how to motivate themselves to get the work done. After all, it is for their own growth and education that the work needs to be done well.
Ensure that they are aware that not completing assignments could result in failing the class so that they are further motivated to complete the work in order to pass. You can also enforce deadlines by deducting points for work delivered late or refusing to take work that is not handed in by the deadline. You can decide how flexible to be on this aspect, but you need to stick to what you have told the students once you have decided on your rules.
- Offer them assistance
If a student is not handing in assignments due to struggling with the work, you can offer to make yourself available by appointment to meet with the student during breaks, before or after school, or during a free period to go over the work as well as offer extra resources. The students need to approach you for this extra help, putting the ball in their court and ensuring your time is not wasted on trying to force students to work who refuse to do so.
- Make a list
Have a list up in the class with the names of the students, check off all completed work and put a cross through all incomplete assignments. You can then offer extra credit assignments to those students that want to make up for the missed assignments. This, again, requires the student to approach you, showing they are motivated to improve their performance.
When looking at ways to get students to do assignments, you may also come up with other creative ideas to motivate and stimulate. Perhaps offering choices of assignments might allow students to do assignments that appeal to their strengths and passions more, which could also improve engagement. However you do it, the key is to get students to motivate themselves to do the work and do it well.