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Purpose: This mini-course will be an opportunity for educators to consider varying theories and research on the issue of homework. Educators will consider the effectiveness of homework in regards to the aspects of amount, type, and frequency. Educators will also construct their own homework policies and procedures. This mini-course will allow educators to explore the effects of homework not only on student achievement, but on other areas of the students' lives.
Learning Outcomes (Gagne's Learning Outcomes/Bloom's Taxonomy):
-Learners will discriminate between adequate and poor homework practices. (Intellectual Skills/Analyze)
-Learners will prioritize research on student achievement and homework policies. (Intellectual Skills/Evaluate)
-Learners will develop homework policies for courses they teach. (Intellectual Skills/Create)
-Learners will demonstrate a rational attitude by evaluating their use of homework in the courses they currently teach. (Attitude/Apply)
1. Instructional Problems
This mini-course calls into question the validity of homework practices. The intent of this course is to allow instructors to explore the research surrounding homework. The cause of this “challenge” is the long-standing practices that are frequently undisputed and at times, dogmatic. Student productivity in the area of homework is commonly low and overall grades and understanding are affected by poor performance. Also affected are: student “buy-in,” and/or student compliance.
2. What is to be learned?
Learners will evaluate and design homework practices that concur with their classroom audiences. Learners will look specifically at student profiles, their own goals as instructors, and the research on homework to determine an efficacious homework policy.
3. The Learners
The learners in this mini-course will be primarily educators. The educators may have different situations though—some are online instructors, some teach in a classroom, and their age groups vary anywhere from K-12, to undergraduate, to post-graduate teachers. The learners will also have a variety of experience with having their own courses, and their own homework policies, as some districts/institutions establish protocols for the instructors. The learners will have different ideas and attitudes about homework before they have taken the course, and this will probably affect their interpretations and perspectives.
4. Context for Instruction
5. Exploring the Instructional Problem and Solution
6. Goals of this Mini-Course
-Learners will be able to distinguish suitable v. poor homework practices, given research on the topic.
-Learners will be able to articulate and evaluate specific homework practices, given several different case studies.
-Learners will select homework practices and justify their choices through discussion, given research on the topic.
-Learners will design a homework policy for a course they teach, given class texts and information.