When I begin evaluating work from my scholars, I consider a few things before I ever get to content.
First, is it clear that instructions were read and followed? If scholars take time to read the instructions provided by the assignment, including how they are going to be evaluated, then the work should reflect that effort. Nothing is more concerning to me as an instructor than reading work that didn’t follow basic assignment expectations.
Second, does the scholar utilize their textbook? If information can be found in the textbook, it should be utilized. Textbooks are resources for learning and application of concepts; to be sure, textbooks are not so much meant to be memorized as they are to be a reference when assignments come up.
Third, does the scholar use other resources provided or required by the instructor? In my introductory course, for example, I require that scholars purchase and utilize the Public Speaking chart from Quick Study Academics (published by Bar Charts, Inc.). If scholars utilize this resource, they have in their hands a quick reference tool full of information about the speech-writing process.
In addition, I provide information through the learning management system (eLearning), including handouts and links to other websites I find helpful. This blog, too, can be an important asset to your learning and assignment completion.
Be sure that when an assignment is about to be due that you have checked these resources so that you can earn the highest point values!