Foolproof tips for creating an effective stat homework like a pro
Assessments help instructors evaluate whether students have grasped the concepts taught in class. One useful and certainly a favorite method of assessment is class homework (written or otherwise). Homework is part and parcel of the teaching and learning process. Creating a useful and meaningful solution for statistics homework takes skill and thoughtfulness. There is no denying that many instructors have been receiving disappointing work from their students and are often left wondering what went wrong. The good news is there is a remedy to this problem. This article offers foolproof tips that can help you write your homework like a pro.
Familiarize yourself with the homework goals
Before you embark on solving the homework, it is important to define a few things:
- The goal of the homework
Why has this homework been assigned to you? What will you gain from completing it? Which skills and abilities do you require to complete your homework? These are some of the questions that you should ask yourself. Your solution should clearly align with the homework requirements and the course in general. In other words, you should make sure that the purpose of the homework is clear before you start working on it.
- Know your level
Which concepts are you already familiar with? What can you already do? A stat homework that is too complicated can frustrate you and shut you down. Knowing your level can help you know the direction you should take with the homework. Some of the questions that can help you gauge your level are:
- Are you acquainted with the discipline, accepted writing style and guidelines, and other homework conventions?
- Do you know how to conduct extensive research?
- Have you completed an almost similar homework before?
You can also consider the list of questions provided by John Bean in his book, Engaging Ideas (1996). The following questions on P.78 of the book can help you focus on the homework:
- Do I know the main units of my course?
- Am I familiar with the learning objectives of each module?
- Which are the most complicated aspects of my course?
Consider what your instructor said about the homework
Once you already know the goal of the homework, you can start solving it. However, you cannot assume your instructor's instructions or tips even though you already know how important the homework is and what you should do to accomplish it. Most instructors take their time to explain how the homework fulfills the goals of the course and what you will learn in the process. Your professor's insights into the homework can motivate you to complete your homework more thoughtfully. Also, instructors usually define the rhetorical or cognitive modes of the homework. For example, the use of verbs such as analyze, describe or argue. You should know if the homework requires you to support an argument, answer a question, or solve a problem. It is also a good idea to know the audience that your instructor wants you to address. Most students usually address only their instructor. Some homework might require that you consider other audiences like other students, researchers in a specific niche, a newspaper, etc. Moreover, it would help if you did not forget to go through the required elements, such as the terms of delivery (documentation style and date of delivery), the homework's length, the writing style, and more. Finally, it would be best if you understood the grading criteria. Know the elements of the solution that are most important and the weight that each should be given. You can get this information from the instructions and rubric.
The do’s and don’ts of writing a homework
Understanding goals is a good start to developing an effective solution for your homework. However, there are also other factors that you should consider when preparing your final design:
- Be as detailed as possible with your solution: According to (Bean, 1996), Most students prefer a guiding constraint when writing homework. Your instructor will probably provide you with a homework handout that describes the course. These are concrete materials that you should refer to when curating your solution. Make sure that you follow the required steps and make your solution explicit.
- Use the appropriate resources: Instructors are known to give pointers and avenues where students can get assistance and start the homework on the right track. These resources can be in the form of textbooks, journals, articles, and links to good websites that can provide you with unique research ideas. Do not use your resources. Consider using the materials that you have been asked to use.
- Make the homework your own: Has and Osborn (2007) confirmed that personal engagement is important in writing homework. It would be best if you made the homework personally meaningful. Tap into your curiosities and experiences to solve a real-world problem. The homework should make you feel in control.
- Consider sequencing a substantially long homework: Substantial homework like dissertations, research papers, and Thesis write-ups take time. It would help if you considered breaking such homework down into sections. Doing this will save you time and ensure you do not leave any stone unturned. Also, it encourages thoroughness and thoughtfulness.
In an effort to complete their homework on time and get a better grade, students usually err in other directions. Here are the don’ts of writing homework.
- Don't veer from your organically-discovered structure: Most students slavishly follow the marking rubric instead of organizing and integrating their ideas. Do not lose focus. Only include explanations that address the question.
- Do not think there is an ideal answer to the question: Instructors usually leave the questions open. They do not rigidly dictate how the questions should be answered. You do not have to struggle to read your professor's mind. Doing this will cause you to lose motivation. Your ideas are very important. Remember your instructor doesn't want you to reproduce the lecture notes. Instead, you are being invited to engage in critical thinking.
- Do not provide vague and confusing answers: Does your professor understand what you mean? Decide on the side of the argument you want to take and provide an explanation that makes sense.
- Please don't wait until the last minute: Most students procrastinate their homework, imposing impossible time restraints. Instructors usually give students ample time to locate resources and effectively complete the homework. If you start doing your homework at the eleventh hour, you might not get time to conduct research, prepare a structure, and draft the solution. Start working on your statistics homework immediately after it has been allotted. Doing so will save you the stress of submitting a poorly written solution or missing your deadline. Fine-tune your time management skills and be disciplined.
Although your success in homework ultimately rests on your instructor, being thoughtful and purposeful can help you submit the best solution. Homework is not only meant to be an effective assessment tool but also to delight and engage you. We would be glad to offer an individualized consultation if you need further assistance with constructing and revising your stat homework.