The Assessment Network

Sharing assessment & grading strategies that help students learn

In today's faculty meeting we BEGAN a discussion about homework.  (Here's a link to what was discussed: Presentation Handout)  

Our goal as a faculty is to continuously improve to meet better the needs of our students.  With that in mind, let's further our exploration of the homework topic by discussing the following questions in small groups: 

  • Where does AFL fit into all this?
  • Does my homework practice mesh with the idea that homework is intended to be practice for students?
  • Would I prefer students to make internally or externally-motivated homework decisions?  Can I do anything about that?
  • How much of what I’m doing regarding homework is what I’ve always done v. what is proven to help students learn?
  • What would have to happen in our school to make it possible to achieve “the vision” for homework?

Have at least one person from your group make a record of your discussion as a reply to this discussion. 

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good to show the relationship between the homework/practice and the ultimate test grade - we agree with this

studying is really the homework and will ultimately help with the test grade and show their mastery of content.

once the students are able to see the correlation between how they practice and their test grades, they will ultimately develop some intrinsic motivation.

From table discussions ...

3. A good extrinsic/intristic motivator could be having students sit in a college classroom or visit a workplace (to develop awareness of what the future holds). Having graduates visit is another good idea. One way to teach students the value of practice is to make them submit all notes, completed homework, and corrections before re-taking a quiz.

5. To have this happen in our school, there must be "loose" consistency between teachers. We would need to have similar expectations,  but flexibility with the types of assignments we assign.

1. AFL and HW can go hand in hand as mastery can be checked by examining the HW.

2. Yes and No.  Our group varied from after class practice to HW equaling a significant portion of a student's grade, however all stated that the HW is preparation for later assessments.

Ran out of time.

1.  Homework provides continuous feedback for students in assessing their learning.

2.  Homework is intended to be preparation for class activities and essential to learning accomplished in class. 

3.  It is preferable for students to achieve a level of internal motivation.  Challenge to get students to understand the correlation between success in class and homework.  The importance of hard work to achieve mastery.

4.  Attaching grades to homework does not help to encourage internal motivation.

5.  Accept that grades may be lower as students learn that homework is essential to achieving class objectives. 

1.AFL fits because students need to practice in order to master the concept for the final assessment.  But it doesn't have to be formally graded for point.

2.Homework is for practice and practicing daily will help them to remember the concepts daily and also for the long term.

3.Doesn't matter if it is internal or external motivation, as long as they learn the material.  Yet, if they can get more internally motivated it will benefit them to prepare more for a college or career workplace.

4. It constantly changes to try to make it a better environment where the students will do the homework and learn the material.  As well as how it affects the grade in the end. 

5.There would need to be a participation from k to 12 to help students see the importance of learning and practice.  If a student works hard and learns great methods to practice and learn material then they can be well prepared for whatever lies ahead of them after school.  If we worked efficiently and together then the kids can see that it is a standard set by the whole system and the importance of it.

Our group utilizes a variety of homework strategies, varying from daily assignments to no home work at all.  It was the consensus of the group that we see homework as practice and we try to grade it in a way so that it doesn't have a large impact on a student's overall grade.  It is difficult to get students to have intrinsic motivation.

Collectively, we agree with many of the points brought up today in our homework discussion.  We still struggle with how to motivate students to complete the practice we do assign without assigning points.  Several made the point of allowing class time to begin the practice so that we are available for questions and can monitor that the individual is actually completing his or her own work (not copying from someone else).  Some individuals talked about assigning homework that involves copying terms or charts or diagrams that were covered in class.  This mostly eliminates the chance of cheating.  Some talked about how there are some students who will not complete homework, no matter what is done to try to motivate them.  We also talked about peer pressure as a positive motivator.

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