June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
23.111.1 - 23.111.11
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.
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