Executive functioning skills, including time management and organization, can impact students’ ability to plan assignments and complete large assignments. Learners in the first or second semester of their program can often benefit from explicit support to plan and organize their assignments. In addition, providing executive functioning support can reduce issues exacerbated by late assignments for both educators and learners.
To assist learners to produce the most accurate reflection of their knowledge and to ensure educators can accurately assess the learning outcome(s), consider providing interim due dates on assignment outlines and/or course learning plan. For example if an assignment is to be completed in three weeks, educators can outline what elements should be completed in the first week, what should be completed in the second week, and what needs to be done to finish the assignment and submit it in the third week.
If educators are able, ungraded feedback can be given for each interim date. Additionally, resources and supports can be offered for each portion of the assignment, such as a link to the Library for research support in the first week or the Writing Centre for editing help in the final week.
- Identify which assessments would benefit from interim due dates.
- Determine steps and resources required to complete the assignment and determine a timeline of interim dates.
- Provide the timeline/interim due dates on the assignment outline, the course learning plan and/or wherever assignment information is provided.