I read an interesting article by Katie Lepi called “Why It’s Time to Rethink (and Question) Homework.” The author brought up several excellent points about the purpose of homework, the credit given and weighted percentage for homework, and the new problems associated with it in a “flipped classroom”. While I am interested in talking about every point in the article, I’d like to really focus on one … the title.
Teachers and Professors should constantly rethink AND question the homework assignments. Haven’t you ever had to complete an assignment that you questioned? Of course you have! We all have. And, I’m making a lot of assumption here but… I assume that those of us who are teachers have all assigned something that was useless, unprepared, superfluous, or down right lame. I have!
Katie Lepi encourages her readers to think hard about every homework assignment. Good idea! If we have any expectation that our students are going to think hard about it, then we should do the same. Here are five questions that she recommends:
- Can you offer your students options for their out of class work (without making it a logistical nightmare for yourself)?
- What options do you have for the type of work they could do?
- How will you assess the homework – will they do it just for credit, or will they get something more out of it?
- Does the homework given enhance the material, expand upon it, or rehash it?
- How can you structure the homework to encourage the students to think critically and apply their knowledge?
I really like the two questions that zero in on options. What do you think about providing homework options? How might a HS English teacher like me reduce the amount of outside reading? Would students rather “watch” my lecture on Lord of the Flies and then read the text in class? How do I know they’re doing either… either way? Hmmmm.