Help for Assignment Planning
Welcome to the last post in this little Planning for Success Series. This post is more about giving your students back some responsibility as they complete their assignments, and taking it from you!
If you missed the any of the previous posts, click the links below.
The FREEBIES in this set of resources are some that I have developed and used for many years now. I use them because they make a difference to my students—they hand in work, and to me because I am chasing a lot less students for work that should have been completed!
This FREEBIE is more about helping your students with the focus on them and not the teacher. Hopefully, if you have followed the process from the beginning with the other tutorials, you will have a clear idea of the Big Picture.
Included here are Assignment Planning templates. These templates help to guide students through the process of planning their time and backward mapping. There are also some templates that will help students who are struggling to complete, and more.
I will always take a whole lesson to explain a new assessment, show samples and demonstrate to students how to plan their time to get to the end and submit their work. After I have taken my students through the expectations, I give them time to process, think and ask questions. I will ask them to complete the following questions. I usually have these questions printed in their actual assignment:
- Write a description of what the finished product will look like.
- Starting at the end, list the steps you need to complete the task.
- How much time do you have to complete the assignment?
- Go and add a time frame to the steps you write out in question 2.
- Use your phone or diary to set yourself reminders of when things should be done
- List what might stop you from achieving you goal of completing this assignment
- List some strategies to help you overcome the problems you might encounter.
This is of course, a sneaky combination of backward mapping and smart goal setting! My students will grumble and groan completing this step in their assignment, but it is so important to teach them these skills of time management and accountability. I will also have a planning template included in the assignment for them to use and write into.
In the FREEBIE download there are some other little bonuses for you to use. There are some other original assignment planning resources—Deconstruct/Reconstruct, and Thinking Questions. There is also a Time management activity to complete with your students, or even yourself!
Unfortunately, no matter how much time you put into setting up your students for success, there will always be those students who will not, or simply cannot submit work in on time. For those students I have a few strategies that I have and do use, with both my students and those of my Faculty.
With these students, I prefer that my staff complete these questions, before I get involved. Sometimes, I will relieve my staff of the burden and will go through the process with the student. In an interview with the student, the teacher will record the answers to these questions. Give yourself time to do this—it is not a quick procedure.
- Write a brief description of the task.
- Write down the parts that you have completed.
- Write down the parts that you have not completed.
- For the parts that were not finished, tick the appropriate boxes, OR write down the reasons for not completing the task. Give details. (there things like not organised, no motivation, no resources, etc…)
- How can we help you to hand in the task?
At this point a clearer idea of the issues should be evident. A conversation around what needs to be done and by when is had and then the dates are recorded. Each person signs the agreement and copies are made and kept by each person involved. Usually this is enough o get a student to complete at least some part of the task to a satisfactory level.
Yet still, there will be students who will not get through this process either—they will need to be referred on to people higher up the educational chain. What this process does is it supports both the staff and student, but mainly staff. It lets those who are higher up see that you have evidence of trying to help this student. It will demonstrate that you have tried and it is now the responsibility of the student because they obviously do not want to be helped.
All of these forms/templates are very self explanatory and are designed to guide both staff and students through the process.
If you have found this post this helpful remember, you can still enrol in the FREE Planning for Success Course.
In the course you will have access to all the Resources, Video Tutorials, Video Slides and more! Each video is only about 15 minutes long, and each printable resource can be used over and over for many years to come! Once enrolled in the course, you will have unlimited access and you can watch the videos as often as you like!
Until next time
Julia from jooya