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The Role Of Homework

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.1032.1 - 6.1032.7



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Paper Authors

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Phillip Wankat

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Many, if not all, engineering professors incorporate homework assignments into their courses in the belief that students will learn more. Students can practice the skills being learned and receive feedback on their efforts. These two principles are known to increase student learning. Data from two chemical engineering courses show that homework grades correlate with test scores and final grades even though homework is a small percentage of the course grade. Practice is more useful if it is frequent and if most students do it; thus frequent, relatively short homework assignments are probably preferable to infrequent but long assignments. Students should do something (homework, writing assignment, quiz, test, project) every week. Since immediate feedback while the students are working on the homework helps prevent excessive frustration, the availability of help will increase student learning if students use it appropriately. Prompt return of graded assignments is more effective than slow return, and students should be encouraged to use the feedback. This can be done by allowing them to turn selected reworked problems back in for an improved grade. Other methods of encouraging (or forcing) the students to practice such as group work during recitations are also effective in increasing student learning.

Wankat, P. (2001, June), The Role Of Homework Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--9753

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