Drill is one of the most commonly used devices for achieving permanent results in learning. Repetition of an experience fixes the impressions on the minds of the pupils. “Practice makes perfect” implies the importance of repetition in bringing certain habits up to a point where there is little chance of forgetting.
Drill Or practice is an essential part of all learning situations pupils need practice in fixing an idea in their minds and in overlapping a generalization, a principle or a fundamental. Drill in the words of yoakam and Simpson “is a serious activity which has for its purpose the perfection of a skill or the strengthening of association to make them more permanent”
Drill allows pupils opportunities to develop meaning, control over simple processes, and mastery of principles or fundamentals which require right recognition. This enables pupils to proceed to more advanced learning without impairing their efficiency. Drill is useful because of various other reasons too. It does not involve only repetition but it always accompanied by intensity or by satisfaction. That helps in proper learning. Drill without reinforcement in the opinion of Hull, simply builds up inhibitions against repetition, only if there is reinforcement does repetition strengthen the possibility of response learning.
To the Gestalists, repetition is merely an opportunity for the formation of new patterns or structures. Kohler’s chimpanzee made a mental pattern (gestalt) of the box and the banana thus changing his cognitive structure.
Automatic recall is usually the goal of drill or practice, it is more effective when complete understanding of the material is developed prior to the practice and pupil sees the need for the drill.
Cautions in using Drill:
1. Whenever drill is needed in order to make for more effective learning it should be learning- teaching device used for the development of meaning, control over simple processes, and mastery of fundamentals
2. When the drill is provided to develop meaning, it should increase understanding. For example, when a child is assigned drill on finding the area of a rectangle, several problems of this nature should be used to help him to understand what area is, how the formula for finding area can be applied to the problems assigned, and how the total learning from the situation can be applied to new experiences.
3. Nothing good can be built into human personality by forced drill, because all the human activity is directed to the attainment of its own goals, make the pupil understand the goal for which drill is necessary
4. Drill should only be used for the purpose of making automatic responses or reactions and should be applied only to the learning of materials that lend to automatisation
5. The material to be drilled upon should be meaningful
6. Exercises given for drill should be interesting and pleasant
7. Drill exercises should be short and distributed over a period of time
8. Drill is an individual affair students should be encouraged from time as progress is made known to the pupils
9. The child put on drill exercises, should be fully oriented both in the method and the content of drill performance
10. Drill should be varied,
11. It should result in economy of time
12. It should not only develop knowledge and skills but help maintain good habits when they are established
13. The drill work should be moderate and should not be continued for a long time otherwise it is likely to create distaste and boredom
14. It should properly supervised
15. For success in drill, the drill work should be graded properly.
16. Drill work should never be given as punishment
It is helpful in strengthening the knowledge of the students. it gives an opportunity to the teacher and the authorities to award proper position to the students in the class
Through this method, it becomes possible to distinguish between the dull and bright students. Bright students shall be able to solve problems rapidly.
It helps the teacher to know the weakness of the students and provide individual attention to them.
If the exercises are not properly given to the students, it is likely to jeopardized the interest of the students in subject
If not properly handled, it is possible that the students may ask someone else to help them in their work. This would make them dependent upon others.
To review means literally to ‘view again’. It is a mental process of going over the learnt materials .it is one of the important and effective fixing devices. The previous experiences are recalled for better memory and retention. It involves new relationship and recognition of old materials.
In the words of bossing “the term review connotes not a mere repetition to fix them more firmly in mind, but rather a new view of these facts in different setting that results in understanding, changed attitudes, or different behaivour patterns”
Risk says “review means getting a new view or renewal of an old view to assure a better view or grasp of relationship studied”
Purpose of review
· To provide a restatement and organisation of facts and relationship in order to fix them
· To help the students to organise the materials and experiences into larger units
· To enable them to get a broader perspective of what is being studied and the subject matter field as whole.
· To reveal student weakness in preparation and understanding as well as teacher weakness in planning and teaching.
Types of review
a. The daily lesson review
b. Topical review
c. Unit plan review
d. Co-operative review
e. Review by application
The Daily lesson review
Teacher can review what has been already covered on the subject at the beginning of the period. This can be done by summarizing the previous lesson and assignment on it relating it to the lesson in hand. This can be done even by asking ‘recapitulatory’ type of questions
Topical and unit plan review
A topic selected and various discussions on it are renewed. It is akin to the unit plan review in which an entire unit or sometimes several units are found necessary and advisable by some teachers. For example various lessons on the mughul period in the history of India have been given, a couple of classes could be devoted to the review of the whole unit or a topic like social reforms in the mughul period could be selected for review.
It involves both teacher and students, it can be in the form of discussion in which the whole class participates, and it is a sort of mass participation of the entire class in an inter-change of ideas under the guidance of teacher. This type of review is more suited to the students at the college level.
Review by application
In this type of review students are given opportunities of applying the knowledge gained in new situations or putting into practice all that they have learned in classroom
Review by making diagrams, sketches, charts, models etc
Good review involves a new way of handling materials, and as such can stimulate children’s interest in activity, changing the form of review, the use of the pictorial method in reviewing materials, e.g., preparation of charts, graphs and statistical tables, and the introduction of games and contests are the some of the ways of making a review interesting.
Suggestion for making effective review
a. It should lead to new learning
b. It should lead to discovery of inter relationship
c. It should lead to continuity, coherence and unity of subject matter
d. It should be directed to the weak points or doubts of the students
e. Review for main points rather than for details
f. Employ review methods which involve visualization
g. Review both as short and at long intervals
Comparison of Drill and review:
Drill and review both are fixing devices but there is much difference in aims, methods, purpose achieved between the two devices.
Aim : development of skill
Drill means mere repetition of facts
Every detail is recalled
It involves mechanical association
It is uninteresting
Drill is only rehearsal
Aim : longer retention and greater thoroughness
It always involves new relationships and reorganization of old materials
Only important and difficult points are recalled
It is interesting
Review is a reconstruction
This method is generally advocated for teaching different subjects to pupils in the higher classes. The syllabus is split up into significant units or topics, each unit or topic, in its own, is subdivided into learning assignments for pupils. The pupils are usually required to prepare the assignments help in the organisation of knowledge, assimilation of facts and better preparation of examination.
Types of assignments
1. Preparatory assignments:
These assignments are meant for circulation purposes. The pupils can be prepared for the work which is to follow on the next day, after this preliminary pilot work, the teacher can lead the class with ease and understanding.
2. Study assignments:
Pupils carry on the study individually or in groups. The assignments can vary with the individuals each according to his need and each according to his capacity. The assignment can range from a page or paragraph assignment to a chapter, topic, problem, project, exercise, report, unit, contract or experiment. The teacher guides the pupil in their problems.
3. Revisional assignments:
This type of assignment is given for providing drill to the work done by the students, checking their retention and reproduction of facts; incidents etc of the topic and checking the understanding of the topic, these assignments are worked and in advance keeping in view the specific objectives of the subject matter being tested.
4. Remedial assignments:
These assignments are devised in the light of pupils reactions to the three types of assignments mentioned above. The purpose of these assignments is to remove weak points and clear misunderstandings.
In addition to these assignments there are few assignments like
Common assignment is one on which every member of the class works such an assignment is used in the case of basic learning of all students.
1. Small assignments:
Small group assignment is differentiated assignment which is tailored to the needs interests and abilities of each small group in the class. Thus in a heterogeneous class, a basic assignment will be given to the slow learners and the same assignment, in an enriched form will be given to the supervisor students.
2. Individual assignment:
Individual assignment is different and distinct for each pupil. It is designed in accordance with each pupil’s achievement level, interests, abilities and needs. Thus it solves educational problems created by individual differences in a large group of students.
Various steps in the assignment:
The teacher has to select work according to the level of the pupils and the time available.
· Providing guidelines
Assignment is actually a directed study, dictating of questions or problems are not an assignment, hints to be given for the successful completion of assignment.
· Supervising the work assigned
The work of the students should be supervised if is to be done in the classroom.
· Evaluating the assignment work
The assignment work should be carefully checked and mistakes pointed out.
Criteria of good assignment
1. It should be definite , clear and interesting
2. It should sufficiently challenge to stimulate pupil’s interest in it
3. It should be significantly related to the topic of which it forms a part. It should lead pupil’s to meaningful complete learning experiences
4. It should appeal to the pupil’s curiosity or his desire to achieve a well established interest.
5. It should be flexible enough to meet the different range of interests and abilities represented in the group.
1. It is a kind of activity method
2. It gives the pupils guidance in an expert way prevents failure, provides for arousal of interest and ensures success
3. Assignment places the greatest emphasis on individual pupil work thus the pupils learn to be in their own
4. Through written assignments, the pupils get a training in the organisation of facts which is very useful
5. Assignment provides the best possible mind set which set which is a prerequisite for effective learning
6. Assignment method enables the teacher to know the interests of his pupils in a particular subject area, he is also able to discover the specific abilities of the individual pupil which may be developed and used for their own good
7. It lends itself easily to objective-centred teaching and it makes learning exciting experiences for pupils.
8. The method helps both teaching and learning processes. The experience gained through the assignment will help in remedial teaching and learning
9. This method is suitable for the pupils of different ability levels – gifted, average and slow
10. The teacher can foresee the difficulties which the students may have to face in the learning of a topic. He can guide the pupils by intelligently putting thought –provoking questions in this assignment the question and guidance to read or to study the topic will prepare the pupil to face the difficulty boldly.
The assignments if properly planned and evaluated, cultivate the habit of self study in the pupils. Pupils learn to finish the work with own efforts. It is a sort of self study which supplements class teaching. The success or effectiveness of assignment depends on the amount of work done independently by the students.