What are the components of a good statistics assignment?
It is the desire of every professor or instructor to see students score top grades in their statistics assignments. However, all students can't score top grades because students have different learning abilities. However, instructors can develop ways to help all statistics students get better grades. This article has looked at the components of a good statistics assignment.
Look at the learning outcomes
When designing a statistics assignment, ensure that you identify what the students want to learn. The assignment should have the ability to demonstrate and develop skills and knowledge in students. The learning outcomes should also be clear to the students so they can know what is expected of them.
The assignments should be engaging
Ensure that you consider how to engage students in a motivating, challenging, and interesting way. While setting the assignment, answer questions such as;
- What is interesting to students about this assignment?
- Will this assignment be engaging enough for students?
- Will the assignment help students think critically?
An engaging assignment help students focus on the end product. It also keeps them active when researching on what is expected of them. In statistics, you can consider asking students to collect samples as part of the work.
Ensure that the purpose of the assignment is clear
It is important to explain to students how the assignment will help them achieve their dream of becoming successful statistics professionals. You can do this by including human dimensions or values. Every student wants to be involved in assignments that will add value to academic success. That is why coming up with assignments that are more practical or need critical thinking is important to students.
Identify the targeted audience
If the assignment targets a certain audience, you should clearly state that to the students so they can know which tone to use in the assignment. Identifying the target audience also determines the assignment pitch and many other communication choices. In statistics, there might not be a target audience unless the assignment focuses on a specific field. Let it be clear in the instructions if you have a specific target audience.
Let the format used in the assignment be clear to the students
If you have specific instructions and parameters in the assignment that you would like the students to use, ensure that those instructions are clear. Specify the length of the assignment, the formatting, citations, etc. Note that if you do not specify these parameters, students will apply formats and conventions they have learned in other topics, and therefore, the assignment will not fulfill the intended purpose. Note that the assignment you are giving to students should help students learn how to apply communication approaches in the right way in statistics. If a certain style is very applicable in statistics, ensure that students use it in their assignments severally so that they can be ready for the job market. The basic idea of giving students assignments is preparing them for days after school, and that should be clear in your mind when setting these assignments.
Let the performance criteria be clear
Let the students know what the performance criteria for the assignment will be. Having a clear and well-defined criterion passed to students prevents confusion on what the students are expecting and sets high standards for students to meet.
Share samples of the assignment
The students need to know what is expected of them. This can easily be passed to students through examples. When sharing the assignment requirements with students, ensure that you also share samples. Samples are always necessary because they guide students when completing their assignments. Samples also help students ask questions in areas they do not understand. Note that the purpose of an assignment is to help students evaluate themselves when preparing for an exam. That is why students are allowed to research on their assignments. Therefore, give them all the necessary material that you think will help them focus on the assignment more.
Ensure that the assignments have a timeframe and a value
Give students a strict timeframe to complete and forward the assignment. Let them know the consequences of failing to deliver the assignment on time. Additionally, ensure that the assignment has value. You can value the assignment in totality or have value for each question independently. Letting students know how many marks a question carries helps them know the weight of that question, which is why it is important to attach value to every question.
Scaffold complex assignments
If an assignment is large or complex, you can consider breaking it into small components. This is an important part because it helps you keep students on track. You want every assignment to be effective and useful to the student. You also want to be in a position to intervene in the assignment where necessary, and that is why it is important to break the assignment into components. Note that very large assignments can be boring to students, and they may not be able to focus on them.
Ensure the component tasks are clear
If the assignment requires any specific steps, ensure they are clear so the students can follow them. If you give students a vague assignment, they may interpret it differently, meaning that the assignment will not be done as you intended. Note that students have different abilities, and as much as the strong students may interpret what you intended in the assignment, the weaker students may not and will be disadvantaged. Your purpose should be to get the best out of every student, which is why it is important to level the playing ground and let all start at a point where they understand.
Ensure that the assignment is in course context
The assignment should build on the previous assignment you gave the students. There should be a flow of ideas, and students should be able to connect what they are being asked to what they were asked previously. This helps students focus on their assignments and know what will likely be assigned next time. This helps them read ahead.
This article has looked into the different components that instructors should consider when assigning tasks to students. Every professor desires that students understand what they have been taught in class. Factors such as the clarity of the assignment, giving students instructions, giving them samples, and helping them know the targeted audience is important in helping them score top grades in their assignments. Before giving students assignments, go through all the components provided above. They will be helpful to both you and your students.