Written assignments have become a common practice for many people in recent years, but they’re not necessarily a good idea.
They’re usually used to teach students basic writing skills, but a new study from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign suggests that they could be more damaging than you might think.
Researchers found that people who used written assignments as a way to learn writing skills actually lost those skills.
In other words, they actually put themselves at greater risk of dropping out of the workforce altogether.
“This research shows that writing assignments are harmful for people who already struggle to communicate,” said University of Chicago professor Anil Pandya.
“If you can’t communicate effectively on a given assignment, it can be very hard to get the kind of job experience that you need.”
Pandya and his colleagues looked at more than 100,000 people who were assigned to a series of writing assignments.
They then asked them to complete a series, which they completed by taking notes during the week and then writing down the assignments as they went.
The results showed that students who were given written assignments often lost the skills they needed to learn, the researchers said.
One in five students who completed the writing assignments also reported dropping out, and they were also more likely to have difficulty completing high school and university.
Pandya said that writing problems are very common for people with language and writing disabilities, but that many of them also have mental health issues.
“We’re finding that many people with speech problems have some kind of mental health issue that’s affecting their ability to communicate and to complete assignments,” Pandya told ABC News.
“This may be a reflection of that, or it may be that they’re trying to communicate through writing.”
The researchers say the study suggests that people should stop using writing assignments and instead consider alternatives like online and blended learning.
They recommend that schools provide students with alternative learning opportunities, such as writing and speaking in the classroom, and that employers provide help with communicating skills.Read More