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Effects of an Early Homework Completion Bonus

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

NSF Grantees' Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.505.1 - 25.505.9



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Paper Authors


Richard M. Bennett University of Tennessee, Knoxville

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Richard Bennett is a professor of civil and environmental engineering and Director, Engineering Fundamentals, at the University of Tennessee.

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William Schleter University of Tennessee, Knoxville


Taimi Olsen University of Tennessee, Knoxville

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Taimi Olsen is the Associate Director of the Tennessee Teaching and Learning Center at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where she creates and conducts workshops, oversees creative teaching grants, and consults with individual faculty members. She has delivered workshops on visual learning, assessment, classroom management, service learning and other topics. All work at the TENN TLC is carefully researched and planned in order to bring best practices and innovative methods to UTK faculty, lecturers, and GTAs.

Olsen earned her doctorate in american and twentieth century literature at UNC-Chapel Hill in 1997, after which she taught at a private college for 12 years, eventually serving as Full Professor and Department Chair. She published Transcending Space: Architectural Places in works by Henry David Thoreau, E. E. Cummings and John Barth, Bucknell UP, 2000, has published numerous articles in her field, and has presented regionally and nationally on faculty development and assessment issues.

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Stan Guffey University of Tennessee, Knoxville

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Stan Guffey is a Faculty Scholar with the Tennessee Teaching and Learning Center.

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Effects of an Early Homework Completion BonusA 10% early homework bonus was instituted in a freshman engineering class for homework thatwas completed more than 24 hours before the due date. As a result of the bonus, the amount ofhomework completed more than 24 hours before the due date jumped from approximately 15%to 60%. In addition, the use of our online discussion board, which is monitored by a graduateteaching assistant from 8-10 p.m. the night the homework is due, went from being almostexclusively used while it was being monitored and the students expecting the GTA to answertheir questions, to being heavily used before the bonus deadline and students answering eachothers’ questions. Student comments related to the early homework bonus indicate that mostbelieve the early bonus has had a positive effect on their learning. Some of the reasons given bystudents were the bonus is a motivator to get it done (time management), the bonus pointscompensating for the small try penalty for a wrong answer so they are not as afraid to try, theyfeel like they understand the material better if they are working on homework shortly afterlecture, and the motivation to look at the homework before lecture and recitation so they knowwhat to focus on. This paper presents a detailed analysis of the early homework completionbonus, the effectiveness of the bonus, and how it has affected learning.

Bennett, R. M., & Schleter, W., & Olsen, T., & Guffey, S. (2012, June), Effects of an Early Homework Completion Bonus Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21263

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