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HOMEWORK X 7: USING HOMEWORK VARIETY TO PROMOTE READING AND THINKING Ann Walter-Fromson, Ph.D. Professor of Psychology Director, Center for the Enhancement.

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Presentation on theme: "HOMEWORK X 7: USING HOMEWORK VARIETY TO PROMOTE READING AND THINKING Ann Walter-Fromson, Ph.D. Professor of Psychology Director, Center for the Enhancement."— Presentation transcript:

1 HOMEWORK X 7: USING HOMEWORK VARIETY TO PROMOTE READING AND THINKING Ann Walter-Fromson, Ph.D. Professor of Psychology Director, Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning Greensboro College

2 Current reality “Estimated from their performance on pop quizzes, about 80% of the students normally did the readings in 1981, but only 20% of them did in 1997 (Burchfield & Sappington, 2000).” (Nilson, 2010, p. 211)

3 Why this project?  Problem in Educational Psychology class  Class activities depend on students’ preparation  Students unfamiliar with concepts in the assigned readings can’t participate meaningfully  Assigning reading is not enough motivation for many students  Need a way to get students to do the reading  Faculty Learning Community (FLC) in focus on innovative teaching  Teaching at Its Best: A Research-Based Resource for College Instructors (2010, Jossey-Bass) PLAN: Assign, collect, and grade homework for each class period

4 Purpose 3 goals: (1) encourage students to read the assigned sections in the textbook before coming to class (2) model a variety of strategies for engaging students in thinking about what they’re reading (3) promote students’ reflection on effective learning strategies

5 TypesTypes of Homework Assignments  Concept Map  Learning Log  Matrix  Study Questions  Scenarios  “Check your understanding”  Moodle Forum

6 Homework Examples (instructions)  Make a matrix* comparing children with learning disabilities, ADHD, intellectual disabilities, behavior disorders, and autism spectrum disorders using the following dimensions:matrix  Type of Disability, Description, Characteristics, Working with Students with this Disability.  Create a learning log* for pages , Constructivist views of learning.learning log  Create a concept map* for Suggestions for Classroom Practice (pp ) and include information on applying constructivist learning theory with different aged learners (p. 246).

7 Example of a matrix

8 Example of a learning log

9 Example of a concept map

10 Assessing the project  Student performance – quantity and quality of homework completed  Student feedback – Reflection questionnaire  administered mid-semester and at end of semester self report on reading behavior open-ended questions re easiest, most helpful, most challenging, and best aligned assignments attitudes toward homework and class activities involving the homework  Student performance on assessments with objective items

11 Did students do the homework? How well?  23 homework assignments, 5 points each (Max score = 100)  Mean number completed = 22 (range of 19-23)  Average score on completed homework = 4.55 range from 3.98 to 4.93 on 5-point scale  Grading scale – 1 to 5  developed with class input  Score of 5 shows “good faith effort” shows evidence of thinking follows instructions completes all parts of the assignment  Score of 4 – evidence of thinking but minor problems  Score of 3 – marginally acceptable  Score of 2 or 1 – turned in but not acceptable  Score of 0 – not turned in

12 How much did students read? Students' Self Reports on Reading Behavior Mid- semester End of Semester I skim all the assigned sections of the text before beginning on the homework.33 Prior to class, I read thoroughly only those sections of the text needed for completing the homework.14 I read thoroughly the sections of the text needed for completing the homework, and then I skim the rest of the assigned sections.63 I read all the assigned sections of the text thoroughly before beginning on the homework.22

13 Student comments on reading the text:  “I can only speak for myself, but I am pretty sure homework using the text is the only way to get the majority of students to read the text.”  “ I read all the text for all the assignments regardless of the type of assignment.”  “I know that the rest of the material will most likely be covered in more depth, so I usually don’t read more than necessary.”

14 Was doing the homework helpful? Mean Scores for Evaluation Questionnaire ResponsesMid- semester End of Semester 1. The homework assignments help me to understand the reading in the textbook The homework assignments help me to feel prepared for class Doing the homework makes me think more deeply about the reading The homework assignments are just busywork – basically a waste of my time If I didn’t have to complete the homework assignments, I probably wouldn’t read the textbook as often as I do now The textbook is easy for me to understand Comparing my homework responses to those of other students helps me understand the material better Discussing the homework in class helps me understand the material better Scale: 1 = Strongly Disagree, 2 = Disagree, 3 = Not sure, 4 = Agree, 5 = Strongly Agree

15 Which types of homework were easiest, most challenging...? ITEM on Midterm Questionnaire Concept Map Learning LogMatrix Study QuestionsScenarios 1. easiest to complete most challenging helps me understand deeply new to me promoted most extensive reading use for other classes when not required02110

16 ITEM on End of Semester Questionnaire Concept Maps Learning LogMatrix Check Your Under- standing Moodle Forums 1. easiest to complete most challenging helps me understand deeply new to me promoted most extensive reading use for other classes when not required will use for study or teaching43710 Note: Row sums for some items total more than 12 because some respondents provided more than one answer.

17 What do you think?  Is there a trade off between quantity of reading and depth of thinking? If we want students to think more deeply about the reading, do we need to focus assignments on shorter sections of text?  Which of the various types of homework would be best suited to the areas you teach?  Do you currently assign and grade homework in your courses? What has worked well for you?

18 Were students more successful on objective assessments? Performance on Assessments with Objective Items Class with no homework (n=10) Class with Homework (n=14) Learning Theories Assessment Mean Score (of 42 items) Percent Correct66%78% Number of items missed by half of class or more105 Classroom Processes Assessment Mean Score (of 45 items) Percent Correct65%76% Number of items missed by half of class or more157

19 More student comments  “In other classes that don’t use these strategies I am doing well but have not developed the understanding of the material/textbook that I have in this class.”  Do you use any of these strategies when not required?  “No, I do not. I do study and do well on tests; however, I do not give myself busy stressful work to study.”  “No, my other classes are all busy work, this is the only one that makes me think.  very metacognitive statement”  “No, but I should.  “I think the homework is very effective and I like how you change the assignments up to make them interesting. It also makes sure I read the material which without homework I may not do.”

20 How the project changed me  More work, but motivating  Provided insights into students’ thinking  Helped me appreciate diversity of student thinking  Stimulated more interaction in class activities

21 What questions do you have? Thank you for your participation!

22 References Eggen, P., & Kauchak, D. (2010). Educational psychology: Windows on classrooms (8th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education. Nilson, L. B. (2010). Teaching at Its Best: A Research-Based Resource for College Instructors (3 rd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.


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