Coursework is the extra work that is given to students by their teachers for them to do outside of normal class hours. It is therefore different from exams in that a period is given for one to research and complete coursework whereas no research is allowed while undertaking an exam. It may be written or practical work is done by a student during a course of study and it's usually assessed to count towards the final grade of the student. Coursework is curriculum mandated meaning that the teacher or professor has to set and give the guidelines of the set coursework. It is intended to reflect an understanding of what has been taught during the course. The type of course work given depends entirely on the level of education, the subject being undertaken. Course work is therefore used by teachers to evaluate a student’s knowledge, skills and to also prepare them to handle a task given effectively and efficiently.
Coursework aims at improving the practical skills, writing, and communication skills of a student. The practical bit involves the undertaking of physical activities such as lab experiments, environmental study, and community observations. The practical activities give a student a sense of involvement and also serve as an important tool in socializing. Improvement of communication skills is achieved by carrying out of class presentations of researched topics. The student is supposed to verbally present their researched paper thus this helps in improving their communication skills and also presents a platform for the students to freely express themselves. It also helps boost the students' self-esteem and helps them gain courage being in front of an audience. It also serves as a method of putting into practice the communication skills learned in class. The development of writing skills is a key essential part of course work. The students gain skills in translating their thoughts into actual writing that can be easily understood and engaging while using all the effective writing skills. Writing also helps develop research culture in students during their course of study. Therefore course work assigning encompasses all aspects of education in one way or another.
The type of course works can be categorized into; an analytical essay, original essay with supportive commentary, an analytical study, and creative writing and commentary. An analytical essay evaluates, compares, and contrasts different sources of data that are interconnected by a common theme. Its goal is to explain something in detail to enhance understanding. Original essay with supportive commentary is a genre of writing that requires a student to investigate a topic, collect, generate, and evaluate the evidence and establish a position on the topic. an analytical study tests hypothesis, identify causes and determine whether and association exist between variables.it is used to show how well a student understands the given course material. Creative writing and commentary this involves giving a personal opinion, interpretation, analysis, and evaluation on a given essay or topic. It is used to show the knowledge and the ability to use appropriate language skills in communicating. These types of coursework are mostly used in English language course work. Course work for sciences appears in form of scientific papers to test what has been investigated and reported independently by a writer. Geography coursework involves collecting, reporting, and explaining information on the geographical question.
Good course work is essential to a student in that it forms part of their final grade of the entire course done. Therefore a good coursework writing format is an important tool in a student. There are basic steps to follow in writing good coursework. The first and the most crucial step is choosing the topic carefully.so as to choose the correct topic one has to fully understand the coursework requirements and the objective of the assignment. With a clear objective and topic, it is easier to research specific materials needed. The second step is structuring your work. That is planning on how to compile and present the materials researched about the topic. The third step is choosing the research methodology to be used in relation to the topic being discussed. Research methods used can include surveys, analysis, comparison, and or experimental work. The fourth step is compiling the research materials according to the structure plan and begin the actual writing of the paper. Finally, edit and proofread to ensure there aren't any mistakes in the coursework before submission. The major factor to consider while doing a course work is time management. Writing of a coursework material should begin as soon as possible after being assigned therefore availing more time to write the work. Also, one should approach the course work step by step thus giving equal and enough time to each part of the topic ensuring good content in the assignment.
Course work assigning has a set of advantages as part of the education curriculum. It is used by the teachers and professors as a measure of the level of understanding of class materials .Therefore in regards to the performance level by the students on the coursework provided the teacher may decide to revisit the material if performance was not above average or just reinforce the material.it also gives the teacher an overview of students that are struggling to grasp the class material. Coursework assignments are an important tool in preparing the students to deal with other superior courses works effectively. That is continuous coursework assignments help build and improve the writing of a student thus they can easily handle larger assignments. Course work is important in the reinforcement of class materials in a student that they may use while taking the main exam. Through analysis and studying of data in course work will considerably broaden a student's understanding of the study material. The assignment of coursework helps in building a foundation that would help students get acquainted with numerous requirements of writing. Such necessities include knowledge in essay format, course work format, and reference writing.
On the contrary course work may not be a reliable method of assessing students. The reasons being that the teachers may be biased towards a certain group of students while grading the assignments thus lack of a fair method of assessment. Also assigning a lot of coursework assignments has considerably increased the workload of students thus acting as a source of educational stress in students especially the young ones. With increased course workload has led to a lack of authenticity of the work submitted by the students. In that students tend to copy the work from their friends and also the work presented is full of plagiarism attributed to the haste of submitting numerous coursework assignments that are due at the same time. The addition of coursework grades to the final exam grades has shown to increase laxity among the students during the final assessment. That is students do not take a keen interest in studying fully for their finals thus perform put the bare minimum with an assurance of grade boost from course work grade received.
Course work administration has been faced with certain challenges after introduction into the educational curriculum. One of the challenges includes overly formulaic and predictable coursework assignments in some subjects. Thus reducing the credibility of the coursework given and thus the course work might not achieve its intended purpose. Achieving of positive impact intended to the students might be compromised in that students will only engage the coursework at surface level. Lack of standard guidelines to be used in administering coursework has led to heavy workload on both the teachers and students thus being a threat to the credibility of coursework to achieve its purpose. Assigning of coursework to students has been constantly been opposed by the parents. In that, it has reduced the amount of time they spend with their kids while at home due to them being constantly studying and completing the coursework load provided by the school. Also, it has considerably reduced their social time with friends to even carry out recreational activities.
In conclusion, coursework is an important part of the education curriculum although it may have its disadvantages the advantages outweighs them. It has served as an important tool in student assessment and provided a way for teachers to evaluate the effectiveness of their teaching methods in relation to the level of understanding by students as it reflects on the course work. Coursework has been an important tool indirectly in instilling work disciple and also developing a sense of responsibility in students. It has also been an effective tool in encouraging students to carry out research activities and to deeply look for information on a given topic thus broadening their knowledge and increase their desire for new information. Coursework writing has also been useful in the teaching of time management among the students. Especially those that are given with a clear due date aligned. Coursework has been of great use to the teachers and professors in the planning of the terms course work. All in all course work should be recommended in education institutions. It forms an important part of the education curriculum and student development.