Skip Nav

Alfie Kohn

Does homework improve student achievement?

❶Homework also allows students to sit down alone unless they're group-studying and take their own time to understand and test what they've learnt.

From the homework laboratories

Homework haterz
Yes homework works
Post navigation

Why are there answer keys available to the students for the end-of-chapter tests? The audio in some videos within the Religion course are problematic. Can you fix it? We are a non-profit organization and provide the content at our websites for self-improvement only as part of our mission.

You cannot get credit for it since we are not a school. We are not a school, so you cannot enroll in a course, but individuals are welcome to use the materials for free as study aids. You can email a comment or question directly to Help HippoCampus. The icon looks like a small speech bubble. While we understand that you may need assistance with your homework, we cannot provide the answers to your problems or individual assistance.

We hope you can use our website as a tool to help you learn the subject matter so that you can find the answers. We correlate our content to a variety of widely used textbooks so that you may choose the books you wish.

You do not need to buy any of the books mentioned. More than half the use of HippoCampus occurs during classroom hours, when teachers go online to project topic lectures and show simulations launched from the HippoCampus site. Teachers can use the site as is, or can create custom playlists of topics in their custom HippoCampus page by creating a free user account. Just click the Log In link in the top-right corner of any HippoCampus page to get started.

Further information can be found in the HippoCampus User's Guide. HippoCampus is not a credit-granting organization, and does not monitor, grade, or give transcripts to anyone using the site. However, many home schooling families have used HippoCampus content to supplement or guide their home curriculum, and we welcome them as users. Yes, although homeschoolers should realize that the content presented is not a complete course. The content is intended to have an instructor to provide supplemental assignments and instruction.

Since there is no teacher available through HippoCampus, the parent must take the role of instructor. We have done research to identify some very good wet lab resources for virtual schools that could also be used successfully by homeschoolers. Here are a few of the options: Full sets of labs labs per course are offered for a fee. These kits are used with web courses, telecommunication courses, home-schooling programs, and all other forms of independent study.

Students are not required to log in to HippoCampus. However, institutions that are members of the National Repository of Online Courses NROC have access to HippoCampus content through their school's learning management system, which can track use, assignments, and grades.

Our Terms of Use specify that HippoCampus is provided by the Monterey Institute for Technology and Education for personal enrichment and individual instructor use only. The unlicensed use of this content by educational organizations or commercial vendors is prohibited. Unfortunately, there is no way to download the video from our website. As an individual user, however, you may create a custom HippoCampus page and then link to an individual topic.

After you have created your custom page, there will be buttons in the upper right corner that allow you to view the text version when available , bookmark, or link to the topic. Yes, in multiple ways. First, there is a "maximize" button beneath the bottom left corner of the Media Window which will widen the screen.

There is also a "hide column" button beneath the first column of content in the Browse Topics tab. These can be used simultaneously or independently. For some content, such as that from Khan Academy, a small button in the lower right corner of the media control bar allows the content to be shown full screen. For other content, such as Algebra I--An Open Course, right-clicking the mouse over the video content will open a menu that offers Full Screen as an option.

This problem occurs if you are using version 7. To fix the problem, go into the QuickTime "Preferences. Your screen resolution may be set too low. The Algebra course requires that your screen resolution be at x or higher. Most of the other content requires a resolution of x or higher.

Much, but not all, of the content at HippoCampus is closed captioned. Section of the Rehabilitation Act to requires Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities. The law applies to all Federal agencies when they develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology.

The educational resources provided at HippoCampus. All the content we provide at HippoCampus is created by other educational institutions and contributed to us to distribute as part of our non-profit mission.

Due to the complexity of modifying the multimedia content, we cannot always correct errors within the video presentations. There is an Errata icon that appears with any topics in which a known error has been identified.

We encourage our users to report any errors they discover so that we can notify everyone of the problem. There is also an errata sheet available for some courses if you select "Launch a Full Course.

Use the "Comments and Questions" feature in the Media Window control bar. The icon looks like a small speech bubble, and allows you to send in a description of the error directly from the relevant piece of media. Or you can send an email to Help HippoCampus. Please describe the issue as precisely as possible. If you provide your email address, we will inform you about the correction process, or ask any follow-up question necessary to clarify the report.

The tests that appear on our website are intended as open tests for self-assessment only. They are not intended to be secure tests since the answers are freely available at several websites. There are answer keys available for the chapter tests but not for the review questions. The answer keys for the chapter tests are located as a link right under the chapter test link.

This is a problem that was in the original content we received from the course developer. We have no way of fixing this at this time. The Environmental Science labs require you to have Java installed on your computer.

You can get the latest version at http: We know a lot of homeschoolers use HippoCampus. We are often asked if homeschoolers can study the content at HippoCampus and then just take and pass the AP exam. However, as with any teaching resource, they should not be considered a singular solution, but can be used as a good foundation for an AP teaching curriculum.

If you wish to receive college credit for taking an AP course, most colleges will require that the course have been approved by the College Board.

Schools wishing to give their students AP credit must go through the AP audit process. The same is true for homeschoolers. The AP Course Ledger section below gives more information about the audit process. The Ledger is an annual and culminating product of the AP Course Audit, a process by which college faculty confirm that courses submitted by AP teachers and schools provide students with the essential elements of a college level experience.

As an exclusively Web-based registry, the Ledger is published annually in November and updated weekly throughout the academic year to reflect newly authorized courses. Here is a link to AP Audit information, and you can find other links on this page to various other resources: Yes, the AP Course Audit is only required for schools desiring to: Schools that simply offer the AP Exam as an opportunity for their students to earn college credit, without actually labeling the school's courses "AP" on students' transcripts, do not need to participate in the AP Course Audit, and can continue offering AP Exams to their students.

Our AP content is a good resource to help students prepare for AP exams. However, while we provide content resources, we do not have instructors who teach the courses. In order to be authorized by the College Board and put in the AP Course Ledger, an instructor must submit a syllabus for the course. While we do not have instructors who teach our courses, we do have NROC member schools that teach the courses for credit and they have been approved through the AP College Board.

There are almost always other explanations for why successful students might be in classrooms where more homework is assigned — let alone why these students might take more time with their homework than their peers do. Again, it would be erroneous to conclude that homework is responsible for higher achievement.

Or that a complete absence of homework would have any detrimental effect at all. One of the most frequently cited studies in the field was published in the early s by a researcher named Timothy Keith, who looked at survey results from tens of thousands of high school students and concluded that homework had a positive relationship to achievement, at least at that age.

But a funny thing happened ten years later when he and a colleague looked at homework alongside other possible influences on learning such as quality of instruction, motivation, and which classes the students took. Do we really know how much homework kids do? The studies claiming that homework helps are based on the assumption that we can accurately measure the number and length of assignments.

But many of these studies depend on students to tell us how much homework they get or complete. When Cooper and his associates looked at recent studies in which the time spent on homework was reported by students, and then compared them with studies in which that estimate was provided by their parents, the results were quite different. These first two flaws combine to cast doubt on much of the existing data, according to a damning summary that appears in the Encyclopedia of Educational Research: Homework studies confuse grades and test scores with learning.

Each is seriously flawed in its own way. In the second kind of study, course grades are used to determine whether homework made a difference.

Any given assignment may well be given two different grades by two equally qualified teachers — and may even be given two different grades by a single teacher who reads it at two different times. The final course grade, moreover, is based on a combination of these individual marks, along with other, even less well defined considerations. The same teacher who handed out the assignments then turns around and evaluates the students who completed them.

The final grade a teacher chooses for a student will often be based at least partly on whether, and to what extent, that student did the homework. Thus, to say that more homework is associated with better school performance as measured by grades is to provide no useful information about whether homework is intrinsically valuable. Yet grades are the basis for a good number of the studies that are cited to defend that very conclusion. The studies that use grades as the outcome measure, not surprisingly, tend to show a much stronger effect for homework than studies that use standardized test scores.

Cooper and his colleagues conducted a study in with both younger and older students from grades 2 through 12 , using both grades and standardized test scores to measure achievement.

They also looked at how much homework was assigned by the teacher as well as at how much time students spent on their homework. Thus, there were eight separate results to be reported. The last, and most common, way of measuring achievement is to use standardized test scores.

They are, however, excellent indicators of two things. The first is affluence: Up to 90 percent of the difference in scores among schools, communities, or even states can be accounted for, statistically speaking, without knowing anything about what happened inside the classrooms.

The second phenomenon that standardized tests measure is how skillful a particular group of students is at taking standardized tests — and, increasingly, how much class time has been given over to preparing them to do just that.

In my experience, teachers can almost always identify several students who do poorly on standardized tests even though, by more authentic and meaningful indicators, they are extremely talented thinkers.

These anecdotal reports have been corroborated by research that finds a statistically significant positive relationship between a shallow or superficial approach to learning, on the one hand, and high scores on various standardized tests, on the other. To that extent, students cannot really demonstrate what they know or what they can do with what they know. Multiple-choice tests are basically designed so that many kids who understand a given idea will be tricked into picking the wrong answer.

Instead, its primary purpose is to artificially spread out the scores in order to facilitate ranking students against each other. Moreover, the selection of questions for these tests is informed by this imperative to rank.

Thus, items that a lot of students answer correctly or incorrectly are typically eliminated — regardless of whether the content is important — and replaced with questions that about half the kids will get right. This is done in order to make it easier to compare students to one another.

In the latter case, a high or rising average test score may actually be a reason to worry. Every hour that teachers spend preparing kids to succeed on standardized tests, even if that investment pays off, is an hour not spent helping kids to become critical, curious, creative thinkers. The limitations of these tests are so numerous and so serious that studies showing an association between homework and higher scores are highly misleading. The fact that more meaningful outcomes are hard to quantify does not make test scores or grades any more valid, reliable, or useful as measures.

To use them anyway calls to mind the story of the man who looked for his lost keys near a streetlight one night not because that was where he dropped them but just because the light was better there. Even taken on its own terms, the research turns up some findings that must give pause to anyone who thinks homework is valuable. Homework matters less the longer you look. The longer the duration of a homework study, the less of an effect the homework is shown to have.

The studies finding the greatest effect were those that captured less of what goes on in the real world by virtue of being so brief.

Even where they do exist, positive effects are often quite small. The same was true of a large-scale high school study from the s. There is no evidence of any academic benefit from homework in elementary school. The absence of evidence supporting the value of homework before high school is generally acknowledged by experts in the field — even those who are far less critical of the research literature and less troubled by the negative effects of homework than I am.

But this remarkable fact is rarely communicated to the general public. In , Cooper summarized the available research with a sentence that ought to be e-mailed to every parent, teacher, and administrator in the country: It, too, found minuscule correlations between the amount of homework done by sixth graders, on the one hand, and their grades and test scores, on the other.

For third graders, the correlations were negative: He was kind enough to offer the citations, and I managed to track them down. The point was to see whether children who did math homework would perform better on a quiz taken immediately afterward that covered exactly the same content as the homework. The third study tested 64 fifth graders on social studies facts. All three of these experiments found exactly what you would expect: The kids who had drilled on the material — a process that happened to take place at home — did better on their respective class tests.

The final study, a dissertation project, involved teaching a lesson contained in a language arts textbook. It seems safe to say that these latest four studies offer no reason to revise the earlier summary statement that no meaningful evidence exists of an academic advantage for children in elementary school who do homework. The correlation only spikes at or above grade A large correlation is necessary, in other words, but not sufficient.

Indeed, I believe it would be a mistake to conclude that homework is a meaningful contributor to learning even in high school. Remember that Cooper and his colleagues found a positive effect only when they looked at how much homework high school students actually did as opposed to how much the teacher assigned and only when achievement was measured by the grades given to them by those same teachers.

All of the cautions, qualifications, and criticisms in this chapter, for that matter, are relevant to students of all ages. Students who take this test also answer a series of questions about themselves, sometimes including how much time they spend on homework.

For any number of reasons, one might expect to find a reasonably strong association between time spent on homework and test scores. Yet the most striking result, particularly for elementary students, is precisely the absence of such an association.

Consider the results of the math exam. Fourth graders who did no homework got roughly the same score as those who did 30 minutes a night. Remarkably, the scores then declined for those who did 45 minutes, then declined again for those who did an hour or more!

In twelfth grade, the scores were about the same regardless of whether students did only 15 minutes or more than an hour. In the s, year-olds in a dozen nations were tested and also queried about how much they studied. Again, the results were not the same in all countries, even when the focus was limited to the final years of high school where the contribution of homework is thought to be strongest. Usually it turned out that doing some homework had a stronger relationship with achievement than doing none at all, but doing a little homework was also better than doing a lot.

Again they came up empty handed. Our students get significantly less homework than their counterparts across the globe. Every step of this syllogism is either flawed or simply false. Premise 2 has been debunked by a number of analysts and for a number of different reasons. But in fact there is now empirical evidence, not just logic, to challenge the conclusions. Two researchers looked at TIMSS data from both and in order to be able to compare practices in 50 countries.

When they published their findings in , they could scarcely conceal their surprise:. Not only did we fail to find any positive relationships, [but] the overall correlations between national average student achievement and national averages in the frequency, total amount, and percentage of teachers who used homework in grading are all negative!

If these data can be extrapolated to other subjects — a research topic that warrants immediate study, in our opinion — then countries that try to improve their standing in the world rankings of student achievement by raising the amount of homework might actually be undermining their own success.

How Much Homework?

Main Topics

Privacy Policy

Sep 23,  · A little amount of homework may help elementary school students build study habits. Homework for junior high students appears to reach the point of diminishing returns after about 90 minutes a night. For high school students, the positive line continues to climb until between 90 minutes and 2½ hours of homework a night, after which returns.

Privacy FAQs

Does Homework Improve Learning? The longer the duration of a homework study, the less of an effect the homework is shown to have.[30] It’s true that we don’t have clear evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that homework doesn’t help students to learn. Indeed, it’s hard to imagine what that evidence might look like.

About Our Ads

But what does homework really do for kids? Is the forest’s worth of book reports and math and spelling sheets the average American student completes in her 12 years of primary schooling making a difference? Harris Cooper, in his homework meta-study at Duke University’s Department of Psychology and Neuroscience. How much is too much. Yes it does!!! It helps students / kids to learn and to memorise stuff and its a great way to review for tests they need homework but no too much and parents need to encourage them to read, study, and write there own books so they can get smart and smarter.

Cookie Info

Practice assignments do improve scores on class tests at all grade levels. A little amount of homework may help elementary school students build study habits. Homework for junior high students appears to reach the point of diminishing returns after about 90 minutes a night. They claim it can help students develop good study habits so they. Does homework improve student achievement? October 8, Since , educators around the world have conducted studies to answer a simple question: Does homework help or hinder a student’s ability to learn? As simple as the question seems to be, the answer is quite complex. So many variables affect student achievement.