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Go to: Jessica's Mini-Course
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
This course will be an online, asynchronous course. The students will participate on their own, as well as with partners through email, or other means of communication.
5. Exploring the Instructional Problem and Solution
The instructional problem is the misconception, or perhaps, indifference, to the impact of homework policies on students in a K-12 setting. The solution is to explore research and case studies on the effects of homework on students' personal and academic lives.
6. Goals of this Mini-Course
The goals of the mini-course are to have a deeper understanding of how homework fits into our current educational system, and to use that knowledge to draw conclusions on how best to implement, or eliminate, homework policies.
Based on Bloom's Taxonomy:
-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.
What does the research say about homework? Learners will analyze and discuss homework practices.
How does homework affect students? Learners will review case studies and conduct their own case study on a subject to collect evidence on the effects on homework.
What will my homework policy be? Learners will design and justify a homework policy for their own educational courses.
Students will be assessed formatively and summatively. The online nature of this course makes it difficult to formatively assess the learners, therefore, they will complete a guided reflection at the end of each lesson. In terms of summative assessments, students will write an analysis of the readings in each lesson. For one of the lessons, the students will discuss their analysis with a small group of other learners. At the end of the course the learners will create and justify their own homework policy.