Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
This study continues the work by the authors to investigate the efficacy of homework in an engineering mechanics (Statics & Dynamics) course, starting with data from the fall semester of 2013. Throughout this study we have investigated: hand-written solutions, frequent quizzes based on homework problems, and the Pearson Mastering Engineering software. Thus far variations in homework systems have had only minimal impacts on the student’s overall performance in the class, as assessed by performance on exam scores. In this paper authors will investigate whether grading the homework is indispensable to inspire the students to understand the concepts and thereby improve their test scores.
Two sections of engineering mechanics in fall 2019 are the focus of this study and only one of the two sections is assigned mandatory homework graded by the TA. Students in the other section are assigned the same homework, however they do not turn it in and are able to access the solution after the deadline of the first section. The main goal is to find out whether students need to have required/graded homework in order to motivate them to work out the problems and improve their performance in the course (quizzes and exams grades).
Exam performance of students in both sections will be monitored using augmented rubrics to investigate the source of errors that need to be eliminated for students to excel; namely: foundation (algebraic substitution, use of simultaneous equations, and issues with geometry or trigonometry), precision (significant figures, lack of units, unit conversions, careless computation error, calculator issues, and error or incomplete answer or format) and knowledge (including lack of understanding of terminology, error in constructing free body diagrams, and uncertainty on how to approach the problem). Statistical data will reveal the effect of graded homework; if any, on the sources of errors. Moreover, survey will be conducted to cover students’ attitude toward homework.
Grading homework is a time consuming task, a precious time that can be spent otherwise in offering new TA office hours, additional review sessions, and assistance to students in solving problems during class time. Are we better off grading all the homework? or not grading them at all and invest TA time to help the students directly? Would it be better to have a mixture of both, the TA grades fewer homework and spend other time helping the students? The proposed study will assist in answering these questions.
O'Neill, R., & Badir, A., & Papkov, G. I., & Liao, J. (2020, June), WIP: A Study of the Effect of Graded Homework in an Engineering Mechanics Course Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35518
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