Pop Quiz: Graded Homework.. Why Bother?
Last week (for me) was the most wonderful time of the year, the end of a semester. As most instructors can understand, it is also one of the busiest times of the year with the influx of paper grading. So as I was grading the piles upon piles of papers, I quietly reflected upon the multitude of papers I grade during just one semester. The thought made my hand cramp.
No doubt those of you who read my post from last week, Warning: Grading Essays May Cause Concussion, (go on click on it you know you want to read it) know that I do at least assign research papers to at least one of my classes. I also assign homework in various other forms for all of the classes I teach. This of course results in bringing papers home to grade all semester long. Many hours are spent listening to Audible or South Park grading those papers.
Some of my colleagues think I am nuts for having the students turn their papers in for grades. Most of them do not want to do the extra work of grading papers on a nightly or weekly basis. These instructors do give homework they just do not collect it and grade it. Many have told me that this is college and the students should be doing homework just to practice and learn. I should not need to dangle a grade in front of them to get them to do it. This makes me giggle.
I am not a new teacher. I have been teaching for many years. My experience is that when homework is given with the idea of it not being collected for a grade the bulk of the students do not do it. I think that for the most part uncollected homework comes from lazy instructors who do not want to be bothered.
I want to know your opinions: Does it matter that homework is collected and graded? Is there good reasoning behind uncollected homework or is it mostly just due to lazy instruction? Are there techniques to getting students to do uncollected homework?
The Pop Quiz is a question posed to you, the Scholars of Doubt. Look for it on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in the afternoon (ET).
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