Homework is the opportunity for students:
- to consolidate and review what they have learnt in class and to discover for themselves, at their own pace, anything that is not clear.
- to carry out tasks - normally writing - which teachers may feel are best not accomplished during class time,
- to prepare for the following class.
Usefulness of homework
Much research has been carried out in recent years to "quantify" the value of homework, how much time should be spent on it, and so on. While much depends on the age group involved, the subject being studied, etc., there would seem to be no doubt that homework is beneficial to learning.
The problem teachers may face is convincing their students of any such advantages, especially if the homework is voluntary, as might be the case with adult learners. While highly- motivated students will look for their own ways of supplementing class work - the less motivated may require more encouragement from the teacher.
An alternative way of presenting "homework" to those for whom it has negative connotations is to present it as "class preparation time".
One of the problems with giving students written homework is the issue of the time needed to review and correct it. If a teacher has a number of classes with a large number of students, say thirty or more, then the time taken to correct their work may be considerable.
One possible solution is to use "peer correction". In this method students correct each other's work in class. Students may be reluctant to accept this system at first and it is best introduced gradually.
- Some useful and practical homework ideas for teachers
- An interesting opinion piece on homework with teachers' responses.
- Harris Cooper, professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University
- "Homework - Purpose, Public Attitudes toward Homework, The Positive and Negative Effects of Homework, Extensiveness of Homework"