Asee peer logo

A Study of Students’ Perceptions of Mathematics Homework Policies, with Emphasis on Engineering Undergraduates

Download Paper |


2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Mathematics Division Technical Session 4

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

23.111.1 - 23.111.11

Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Jennifer Vandenbussche Southern Polytechnic State University

visit author page

Jennifer Vandenbussche is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Southern Polytechnic State University. In addition to her research in the scholarship of teaching and learning, she does mathematics research in in the area of combinatorics, especially extremal graph theory. Her primary interest lies in coloring and matching problems in graphs.

visit author page


William George Griffiths IV Southern Polytechnic State University

visit author page

William Griffiths is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at Southern Polytechnic State University. His research interests include enumerative combinatorics, permutation pattern avoidance, and the scholarship of teaching and learning.

visit author page


Christina R Scherrer Southern Polytechnic State University

visit author page

Christina Scherrer is an Associate Professor of industrial engineering technology at Southern Polytechnic State University. Her research interests are in the application of operations research and economic decision analysis to the public sector and in assessing education innovation. She teaches primarily statistics and logistics courses, at both the undergraduate and graduate level. She received her Ph.D. in industrial engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

visit author page

Download Paper |


A Study of Students’ Perceptions of Mathematics Homework Policies, with Emphasis on Engineering UndergraduatesAmong members of the post-secondary mathematics community, it is an almost universallyaccepted axiom that completing homework is essential to student success in mathematics. Withentry-level mathematics courses serving as a stumbling block to the successful completion of adegree in engineering and engineering technology, encouraging students to complete morehomework in these courses seems to be essential. Unfortunately, there is little rigorous researchto guide a mathematics instructor toward achieving this goal. It would be helpful to know whatkey factors tend to prevent students from completing their mathematics homework and whatpolicies are effective in encouraging a high completion rate. It would also be helpful to know ifthere seem to be certain aspects that are more important for different genders, ages, or otherdemographics.We surveyed more than 1,000 undergraduates in mathematics courses ranging from CollegeAlgebra to Calculus III, asking them questions about their homework completion habits and whattheir instructors could do to encourage more homework completion. The survey uncovered someinteresting variations in responses across demographics, including major, gender, race, andcourse level.In this paper we provide a review of the previous research in this area, describe the details behindthe administration of the survey, and present numerous results. We focus on engineering andengineering technology students, which was approximately 60% of our sample. In addition toproviding insights toward possible effective classroom policies, the results of this survey caninform future rigorous research, helping mathematics education researchers to focus on the mostpertinent variables in their experiments.

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2013 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015