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Will Doing More Homework Help Students Perform Better In Exams

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❶So, I have no regrets at bending the rules for a few, although I was not happy that in 98 percent of cases this bending didn't save them.

Does homework improve student achievement?

will doing more homework help students perform better in exams
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From the homework laboratories

You don't penalize students who know their stuff because they are just extra smart, or because this is old material for them by making them do make-work which doesn't enhance their knowledge or understanding because the homework in class isn't intended to evaluate the student's knowledge but to help them gain that understanding. Remember, your goal is to 1 teach the material; 2 teach to learn.

In my experience, if a students final mark works out to be just short of a passing grade It is common for teachers to round up the grade if they think the student has an adequate understanding of the material. In some cases this has involved meeting the student after the final exam and going over the test with them to get a better understanding of the students depth of understanding. Some answers on a test may look good, but it could just be that the student has seen a similar problem before and has a good memory - but are not capable of elaborating on their answer.

In this way you can get a better sense of the students actual proficiency with the material and decide based on that to pass or fail. The whole purpose of homework is to help prepare the student for midterms and finals - and retain that knowledge.

So if they can accomplish that without the homework and have an above average understanding of the material I don't think it makes sense for them to fail the class. What do you wish a grade in your class to mean? If you ignore the missing homework, a good grade in your class will indicate that a student has a strong grasp of the material and a high level of skill in solving the sorts of problems which you put on your tests within time limits.

If you penalize the missing homework enough to make excellent test performance alone inadequate to obtain the good grade, a good grade in your class will not reflect the students ability to utilize their knowledge of the material to solve problems under time constraints.

They may still have a good grasp of the material, or they might not. If they get a poor grade, they may still have a good grasp of the material, or they might not.

The homework-penalizing grading will, however, reflect a degree of subservience and submission to discipline even in situations where the homework has little to no benefit to the students knowledge. As other have said: Diverging from this sends you down a sinkhole of making more modifications on the fly, trying to be fair to all students, running different case what-ifs, and generally doing a lot more work.

Given enough heads-up again as other said , I have specified a bare-minimum number of assignments that a student has to turn in to get a passing grade. Also consider the appropriateness of an "Incomplete" grade. Although I almost never do it, if there is truly a unique situation that you want to account for, consider withholding the grade until the student passes in some bare-minimum work after the fact.

Downside is this does create more work for you scheduling and following up , but in theory that grade status is designed to account for that. The last part of your question is a poll and is not kosher for this site, but I will offer my point of view about your basic dilemma. The old-fashioned way of grading put a great deal of weight on the exam s. In a lab course, this would include a lab exam.

Over time, we started to become more humane, and reduce the pressure about the exam performance, by giving more weight to other components. If you feel that your exams are well enough designed that a solid exam performance sufficiently permits a student to demonstrate mastery of the material, and if you are confident about your exam proctoring procedures, then be humane.

Celebrate his mastery of your course material by giving this student a well-deserved A. In my alma mater, which was also where I taught for a few years, the academic studies bylaws explicitly stated that the course grade is intended to reflect the student's command of the subject matter. Assuming the subject matter is not the practical skill of writing code or building something, the "deep understanding" OP has discerned would be enough to give the student an excellent grade.

There are rules, and there are higher-level rules the "constitutional level" if you will. The first advantage is that it is fair to all students and yet rewarding those who have a much deeper mastery of the subject.

You should of course mark the assignment impartially and try to prevent any cheating, and it will naturally give extra credit to the better students.

The second advantage is that it does not penalize any students at all, since it is purely bonus credit. So no student will have any reason to complain, since the good students can prove that they deserve a good grade.

The third advantage is that you do not have to rely on your subjective and possibly inaccurate judgement of this student's abilities. It may be bad to give good students an 'undeserving' poor grade, but it would be even worse to give bad students a truly undeserving better grade than there is clear evidence for unless you are absolutely certain that your student's performance on the exam is so outstanding that all your colleagues will agree fully with you.

Note that I'm purposely not answering the question of whether to pass or fail the student involved, since according to the above we can only answer that question after the optional assignment deadline. It is imperative that you design your grading system to take this type of situation into account. Some students simply will not get the homework done, even if they understand the material.

The reason is not really your concern unless of course it's something like a medical or family emergency. In my courses, I always instituted a way for students to avoid zeros on homework. For instance, I would allow them to make up late work for up to a week, though at only a fraction of the value. If it was past a week, I would offer them additional work e. However, I stress that this policy must be written in your syllabus so that grading remains fair to all students.

My approach in this kind of situation has been to follow my syllabus and grading process to the letter. Students who earn Fs, even those who need a passing grade to advance, get Fs. If they need a heads up to see this coming, then it's definitely worth pulling them aside and telling them. It really can change their approach. Convert assignment to exam. Just explain the student that not everything can be verified in exam, that some kinds of performance, understanding can only be seen from assignment results, so assignment marks influence the exam marks.

As the student is doing exams well, he will do the assignments well also now, because they are part of the exam. Currently he probably does not think it is necessary. Your syllabus has, or should have, a formula used to calculate the students' grades. This student is making a choice, based upon what he or she understands that formula to be, not to do the homework.

Every student should be able to look at the grade formula, figure out what grade they can accept, weigh that against their goals and the time demands of their other courses and pursuits, and determine what they want to hand in. Of course, doing the homework should help the student to generate an understanding of the topics in the course, and thus help the student do better on exams and major assignments.

It could also help a student recognize red flags for a lack of understanding that merits extra attention. If the homework doesn't play such a role, or some other similar role, then it's just busy work, and you need to ask why its being assigned in the first place. You should view the grade as a pre-established contract with the student put forth in the syllabus. If the student can abide by it, they stay in the course, and if they find they can't, they're free to make other plans.

The fact that you're wrestling with this decision now seems to signal that you haven't clearly established this contract. Use this situation as an experience to sharpen your grade formula in the future such that a student in this situation would get the grade you feel is deserved, but for this semester you need to stick to whatever formula you conveyed. If you haven't conveyed a formula, do what you think is right, but it is WRONG to place students in a situation where they don't understand what generates their grade and you should certainly fix this for future iterations.

How much should homeworks count? My own personal feeling is that if it counts too much, it just encourages academic dishonesty. It should count enough that poor homework performance should certainly rule out an A, just to encourage students to do it. You should discuss an alternative scheme for the homework problems for this student. Just tell the student that the way things are going now is not acceptable, he'll not get the credits for the course.

If he tells you that he'll try harder, tell him that you actually know why he isn't doing well on the assignments, that he is going to fail the course and may also become ill due to overwork and then risk dropping out of university altogether.

Then offer him an alternative scheme for the assignments that is more compatible with his schedule, but which also comes with zero tolerance for not adhering to it. You should aim for assignments for him that are at least as hard as the regular assignments. You should tell in class that some students are following an alternative scheme for assignments to accommodate for private issues, that this is open to everyone, but the assignments are on average a bit harder than the regular assignments.

This makes sure all students are treated equally, and that the alternative scheme is not an easy pass so the floodgates for the alternative scheme are not opened. One follow-up question I wold ask is whether the exam in question is as rigorous as the OP suggests; the student may indeed have known the material well or known it already from past exposure , but if it required very little practice to master the skills needed to excel at a summative assessment, how powerful a measure could it possibly be?

My students often ask me for a final exam whose grade could trump the rest of the semester probably because they got that "Senior Day" treatment in high school , but I ask them two question which quickly snuff out the requests:. Would you be satisfied if your exam results dipped and thus brought your A down to a C, "just because" you got a Are you prepared for an exam genuinely testing every major "essential" "irreplaceable" concept we have discussed, and not this "gentler" one I have prepared in acknowledgement that you have already showed me a partial mastery based on your earlier exams?

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site the association bonus does not count. Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead? Questions Tags Users Badges Unanswered. A student in my course does well on exams, but doesn't do the homework: For those of you who have been in this situation before as an instructor, my question: Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.

Given that the point of the course is to develop understanding of the material, I personally would be a fan of offloading some of the weight of the work onto the exam. Chris Sure, that may be possible in some courses. In other courses I am in electrical engineering , part of demonstrating mastery of course material involves showing that you can use the material in a realistic context - project and lab work - not just in exams, which are somewhat artificial.

In addition, if the student is really having a hard time for reasons outside of school, a meeting like this gives them a chance to ask the professor for help and be directed to resources that can alleviate some of their problems.

Chris 'I took a course once That's what I call normal. Is not the purpose of education to ensure your students know the knowledge you present them. Closed book exams in class then it places the highest demands generally imposed in undergraduate classes consider homework, take home quizzes, and lab work. If your student preforms well on the most difficult tasks you present them why would you penalize them for failing to do the easier tasks.

The student is clearly learning the material, which is the overall goal anyways; if they're succeeding, why fail them on a technicality? If the homework is a "technicality," why are you making the other students do it? If completing the homework isn't really necessary for demonstrating mastery of the course material, then you need to rethink your grading scheme. Others have it as a core requirement, as part of the learning process itself. It really depends on the teacher and the teaching method.

We should make homework voluntary and students should be grown up enough to decide whether or not they need to do it in order to learn the material. Talk to the Student now If possible you should communicate to the student exactly the precarious position they are in.

Ryan 1 5 Bamboo 2, 2 12 I would like to add that other students may have the opposite problem: They are putting in a lot of work for the homework, but are not doing well on exams for whatever reason. It would be unfair to shift the scoring in their un-favor, if it was specified before most drastically, they may have chosen a course over others because of the focus on homework.

For example, you could allow students who fulfill all or most of their homework assignments to redo their exam once -- by which I mean: Or perhaps allow them more time on their exams.

When it comes to workforce performance what correlates best Exams or Homework? I put this as a comment and not a question because I would like people to think about this. Tom Au 4, 1 11 Collins it is trivial to implement such a scheme in Excel or other spreadsheet. If you don't know how, ask for administrative support from your department and I'm sure they'll help you figure it out. Not saying you should use such a grading system, but the technical difficulty shouldn't be a factor in your decision.

At my institution many instructors would download the raw grading data, process it in Excel to compute final scores, and upload the final grades into the system. Is it slightly more work?

Maybe actually sometimes the opposite, as grading software is a pain to use and setting up your own spreadsheet makes things more transparent and minimizes the chance of errors. Is it sufficiently hard and time-consuming for your "waste of time" argument to make sense? I don't think so. Collins No, it doesn't need doing each week.

It needs doing once at the end of term. A student doesn't have a grade for a course until they have completed the course. In my experience, most instructors who do this kind of Rube Goldberg grading aren't doing it with technology. Collins If my students want to know where they stand, I tell them to work it out. They know what they've got for all the marked work, so they are just as capable of doing the calculation as I am. I appreciated the civilized policies of my British University, too.

No you are not and yes, our system is much more human and adapted to extreme cases. Alan 1 3. What if the intent of labs and homeworks is not just for students to learn the material, but for students to demonstrate that they can effectively use the material on types of problems that are not feasible in the context of an exam?

That is, the true goals, whatever their reasonable testing-ground, could be made clear. Competence is competence, with or without obedience-to-rules. Such cases ought not to be referred to as "homework", but "projects". Students recognize the difference, and won't expect projects to be optional or minimally weighted.

Stick to your syllabus. BBS 2 5. If a fellow student managed to get a better grade, be happy for him. As long as the students will be compared by prospective employers or grad schools on the basis of grades and they will be unless you teach at the kind of place that is as much social club and finishing school as university then the other students certainly do have an interest in what their peers make.

Now, you could take the view that you are assigning a more correct grade by allowing a variation. But you need to think carefully about that: Why are you cheating them? If the professor gave another student a better grade for worse scores that's the way it goes. Just be happy for him. However, the latest figures from ChildLine show a per cent increase in counselling sessions about exam stress. Major themes included not wanting to disappoint their parents, fear of failure and general pressures linked to academic achievement.

In the classroom, it is important to ensure students know that they are not alone in how they are feeling and that there are coping mechanisms they can use to identify, manage and overcome stress. It is also vital that they know their teachers are there to support them, not least by giving them best practice revision techniques and homework plans to ensure they are as prepared as possible when exam time arrives.

Hopefully, this will help to keep stress to a minimum. The pressure of revision can be overwhelming for even the most hard-working of students, and it is often seen as a more arduous task than the exam itself.

Nevertheless, it is essential for maximising the retention of information and for helping students to work out what can be interpreted and applied in an exam. Here are a few ways that may help teachers to implement a successful revision strategy. Offer your students a range of revision material textbooks, videos, websites etc. In this way, you keep their attention longer while also meeting the needs of each learner and their individual learning styles.

Incorporating online and mobile learning into their revision engages them in a way that is familiar and natural. It also enables them to revise anytime, anywhere, at their convenience. Past exam papers are, of course, an ideal way of introducing students to exactly what they will be faced with.

Familiarising them with the formats and preparing them for the strict timeframes will help immensely. It also provides a structure to the revision process. Include strict breaks too, which have been proven to be extremely beneficial in refocusing the brain after intensive concentration. Education researcher, Professor John Hattie, became a household name within the sector when his book, Visible Learning, was published.

It is one of the largest collections of evidence-based research about what works best in education. He addresses the contentious issue of homework and examines whether it, in fact, actually benefits students.

His research found that while homework is thought to have no effect on the progress of primary school children, it is important and does make a difference to secondary students. What can teachers do to overcome the misconception among students that homework is a hindrance rather than a help, and ensure that the homework they set is as beneficial as it can be for students? The most valuable homework is always planned ahead of time, with care and attention. It should never be used just to meet the demands of a curriculum homework timetable or other targets.

Ultimately, if you value it your students will too. If allowances can be made for students to complete homework while on the school grounds, this would be hugely beneficial.


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Sep 23,  · Students assigned homework in 2nd grade did better on math, 3rd and 4th graders did better on English skills and vocabulary, 5th graders on social studies, 9th through 12th graders on American history, and 12th graders on Shakespeare. It states, "Most educators agree that for children in grades K-2, homework is more effective. Does Homework Improve Learning? (or do) more homework also score better on standardized tests, it follows that the higher scores were due to their having had more homework. Additional conclusion: If U.S. teachers assigned more homework, our students would perform better.