In order to be an effective learner, it is important to recognise and appreciate the differences between studying and homework.
Often students believe that studying and homework are the same thing, and the two terms are used synonymously. However, the two activities are two very distinct tasks, with different goals in the wider learning of students. Let me explain how.
Homework is any work assigned by the teacher, as work outside of the classroom, to do at home. These include assignments and exercises that aim to reinforce the content and skills learnt in class. They allow for extra practice, development of skills and revision of content. Homework is important as it allows for students to identify gaps in their education and to help further strengthen content, concepts and skills learnt in the classroom. Homework can be used by students and teachers to detect areas of learning that may need to be worked upon.
Now, homework is important – but that is not all that students should have in their learning arsenal. Study is the time spent reviewing work, and preparing for future classes. It involves going over previous work, spending time reading and processing information. Now, most students would associate studying with preparing for exams, and whilst, it is in these periods that students should increase studying, it is not the only time they should study. It is important to set aside time regularly to study, to ensure that you understand all the concepts, content and are competent with skills learnt in class and to make sure that you don’t fall behind. Studying is similar to homework; however, you are in control – in that, the student themselves nominates the time and task. Studying also includes creating flashcards, writing and reviewing notes, reading textbooks and doing questions. For those of you who are visual and auditory learners, you might like to watch YouTube channels for education and TED Talks related to the topics you are studying.
Now to demonstrate this in a classroom example, take your maths class. In class, the teacher demonstrates and teaches a concept. You do some questions in class to cement that concept and skill, and are assigned some questions from your maths book to further embed the content. Now, the work done at home is homework, but a few months later you decide to review this content yourself, going through the content and doing questions. This is called study.
Now, that you know the importance of study and difference between study and homework, it’s important to allocate enough time to complete both, because they both are essential to your learning as a student.