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Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects:Standard COE Student Submission FormatTOURO IRB WEBSITE: http://www.tu.edu/researchca.phpForms should be submitted electronically with IRB in the subject line to:firstname.lastname@example.orgTITLE OF STUDY: Why is Homework a Dirty Word?Principal Investigator: Lauren S NourseResearcher: Lauren S Nourse. 8th Grade Science Teacher Martinez Junior High.Candidate for Masters in Educational Technology, Touro UniversityAdvisor: Pamela RedmondAbstract:There is an ever increasing complaint from high school teachers that the students we aresending from the junior high are not prepared for the rigors of their classes. In educationthere is a premise that homework is a necessity when learning to work independently andin developing self-discipline and responsibility. Can we create more opportunities forhomework to be done on-line and will this increase homework completion rates?Introduction:1. What do you plan to do?Hypothesis: Student homework completion rates will increase if students are given theopportunity to complete and submit homework in an on-line format. Procedures: 1. Students will complete a questionnaire regarding their homework preferences and their reasons for not completing their homework. 2. A student technology survey will be taken. 3. Students will be assigned (by class – not individually) either on-line or worksheet homework for the week. 4. A quiz will be given on the work one to two days after the work is due. 5. The following week’s assignment will be the reverse – if they had worksheets to do then they will be asked to complete the next work on-line.2. Why is this study important?The purpose of the project is to take existing homework assignments and compare therates of homework completion between students using the traditional pen-and-paper styleversus homework completed on-line and returned to the teacher via the web. Will therebe an increase in homework completion rates as indicated by several prior studies?(Bonham, Beichner, & Deardorff. (2001), Salend, Duhaney, Anderson, Gottschalk,(2004), Cooper, Robinson, Patall, (2006) or has the novelty of the web as an educationalhomework resource begun to fade?
The hypothesis is that web-based homework, particularly well-designed homework witha web component, can provide an alternative to traditional types of homework. Can wecreate more opportunities for homework to be done on line and will this increasecompletion of homework assignments and by extension improve student test scores? Willon-line homework improve understanding of the material and thus create improved testscores? Lastly, will this be just a novelty to students who will be interested in completingthis new style initially but quickly tire and return to old habits?3. What has already been doneMany studies have been done on the value and need for homework. (Cooper, et al, 2006,Xu, 2005, Razza and Heffernan, 2009, Bonham, Beichner and Deardorff, 2001 and2003.) The education community is increasingly divided on their evaluation of theresearch. Without completing a formal survey, MJHS increased our scores on the CSATtests this year for our 8th grade math and science students. At the start of the secondsemester a homework lunch for math and science was instituted for those students whochronically did not turn in homework.Since in our small micro-study this completion of homework seems to have been helpfulin student learning and understanding, can an arena for students to complete and submithomework on-line on a more regular basis be created and will this result in a higherhomework turn in rate?.Study Design 1. How do you plan to do it?. Data will be collected as follows: • Completion rates for homework assigned as on-line • Completion rates for homework assigned with worksheets. • Comparison of quiz scores for the 2 sets of students. • The next week the homework methods will be reversed. Classes will be divided as follows: • One morning and one afternoon class for on-line assignment. • One morning and one afternoon class for worksheet assignment.What kind of study is it? The constructivist view can be applied to the proposedresearch. This Action Research Study will be completed with 4 8th grade science classesat Martinez Junior High School, Martinez, CA.Who/what will be included/excluded and why? (What are recruitment/exclusioncriteria? Be sure to include women, minorities, other groups if appropriate, andhow they will be recruited).130 students are heterogeneously grouped in each class. There is a range of students ineach class with CST test scores that range from highly proficient to below basic.
How will it answer your research question?The suggested research supports active learning and will allow students to investigatenew ways to solve old problems. Students will use the web and internet to completeroutine homework assignments. The research will examine if they can become activelearners using a medium they have embraced.2. What are the potential risks and benefits to your human subjects?There are no perceived risks to the students.Benefits may include increased comprehension of material and improved grades.How will you obtain consent? Provide for translation, reading for illiterateparticipants; whatever else may be necessary?Parents will be advised of study at Back to School night (September 23). A letter withpermission attached will be available that night. Another copy will be sent home witheach student the following day.3. What will you do with the data?Storage: Data will be stored on MJHS server and on MJHS laptop. Data would be storeduntil manually deleted by researcher.Access will be granted to school administration.There is no anticipated formal follow-up.This information may be used by administration in their justification to hire a teacher torun the lunch time homework detention but due to budget considerations theadministration will not commit to this use of the research in any formal way.4. Appendices. Attach questionnaires, focus group questions, consent forms, parental handouts.Student Questionnaire:Now that you have thought about your personal preferences where homework is concerned, please answerthe following: 1. What is easy about homework? 2. What is hard about homework? 3. What type of homework do you like? 4. Why do you think your teachers assign homework? 5. What do you do when you have no homework for the night or if you have chosen not to do your assigned homework?
6. Do you think homework helps you with your classwork and understanding what goes on in class each day?7. Do you expect your parents to help you with your homework if you are having trouble understanding it?8. What are the consequences to you if you do not do your homework?9. Do you return your homework every day?10. Do you play video games? a. No – please skip to question _12.________________ b. Yes11. How many hours a day do your spend on video games? _____________12. How many hours a day to you spend on your computer or smart phone – exploring internet sites or talking to friends or texting friends or any other social interactions?13. If you do not do your homework, why do you think that is?14. If you think you would do your homework more often and more completely if you could find the homework on-line, complete it and turn it in on-line?15. Do you think doing your homework improves your understanding of the science material and helps you do better on your science tests?16. When do you prefer to so science homework? a. At the Boy and Girls club the same day it is assigned. b. Right after school. c. Later in the evening. d. I have no preference. e. Other time (please explain17. How often are you able to actually do homework when you would prefer as reported in question 16 above? a. Always b. Often c. Sometimes d. Rarely e. Never f. Not applicable as I have no preference18. Where do you prefer to do your science homework? a. At the kitchen table b. In a living room c. In a bedroom
d. At a library e. At school after the end of school. f. I have no preference. g. Other place – please explain ______________________________________19. How often are you actually able to do your science homework where you would prefer as you reported in question 18? a. Always b. Often c. Sometimes d. Rarely e. Never f. Not applicable as I have no preference20. Which of the following best describes your preference for your surroundings while you do your science homework? a. Bright light b. Moderate light c. Dim light d. I have no preference on lighting e. I have never thought about the lighting f. Other – please explain ____________________________________________________________21. How often are you able to do your science homework with the lighting you prefer as reported in question 20? a. Always b. Often c. Sometimes d. Rarely e. Never f. Not applicable as I have no preference22. What is your preference for study space while you do your science homework? a. At a desk b. At a table c. On my lap d. On the floor e. Other – please explain ______________________________________________________23. How often are you able to do your science homework in the type of study space you indicated in question 22? a. Always b. Often c. Sometimes d. Rarely e. Never f. Not applicable as I have no preference24. Do you prefer to have music playing while you do your science homework? a. Yes b. No c. No preference
d. It depends – please explain ___________________________________________________25. How often are you able to do your science homework with your preferred music playing? a. Always b. Often c. Sometimes d. Rarely e. Never f. Not applicable as I have no preference26. Do you prefer to do science homework in front of a television that is on? a. Yes b. No c. I have no preference d. It depends – explain __________________________________________________________27. What other noises are around you as you study? Circle all that apply a. TV b. Video games c. Talking d. Music28. What level of noise do you prefer while doing your science homework? a. I prefer complete silence. b. I prefer it to be mostly quiet. c. I prefer moderate noise and background noise. d. I prefer loud background noise. e. I have no preference. f. Other – please explain ___________________________________________________29. How often are you able to do your science homework according to the noise level you like as indicated in question 28? a. Always b. Often c. Sometimes d. Rarely e. Never f. Not applicable as I have no preference30. What are your preferences about eating and doing your science homework? a. I prefer to do my science homework before eating. b. I prefer to do my science homework after eating. c. I prefer to eat while doing my science homework d. I have no preference e. Other – please explain ______________________________________________________31. How often are you able to do your science homework according to your eating preferences as indicated in question 30? a. Always b. Often c. Sometimes d. Rarely
e. Never f. Not applicable as I have no preference32. Thinking about your science homework from past years, what type was assigned most often? a. Studying maps, charts, diagrams b. Hands on, building or designing charts, building a sample of an experiment or item you were studying. c. Reading text and answering questions, completing worksheets, writing definitions, etc. d. Group projects e. Other – please explain ____________________________________________________________33. What was your preferred type of science assignment? Refer to the list in question 32. __________________________________________________________________34. How often was your preferred type of science assignment assigned? a. Always b. Often c. Sometimes d. Rarely e. Never f. Not applicable as I had no preference35. Which of the following best describes your preferences while doing science homework? a. I prefer to do homework alone. b. I prefer to do homework with other students or friends. c. I prefer to do homework alone, but with a teacher, or teachers, around. d. I prefer to do homework alone, with a parent or other adult around. e. I prefer to do homework with other students or friends, but with a teacher, or teachers around. f. I prefer to do homework with other students or friends, but with a parent or other adult around. g. I have no preference. h. Other – please explain. __________________________________________________________36. How often are you able to do science homework according your preferences as reported in question 35 above? a. Always b. Often c. Sometimes d. Rarely e. Never f. Not applicable as I have no preference37. How often do you go on-line to help you with your science homework? a. Always b. Often c. Sometimes d. Rarely e. Never38. I learn best when ___________. Pleased circle all answers that apply a. I can discuss assignments with classmates. b. I get direct instruction from the teacher.
c. I understand my science best when I read the textbook and other print sources. d. I learn best when watching television programs or DVD’s. e. I can find information on the Internet. 39. In the past, my science homework required me to go online a. Once a week b. Twice a week c. Daily d. Never 40. I usually start my science homework on my own without being nagged a. Always b. Often c. Sometimes d. Rarely e. NeverParent Permission: Martinez Junior High School 1600 Court Street Martinez, CA 94553September 23, 2010Dear Parents and Guardians,My name is Lauren Nourse. I am your child’s 8th grade science teacher at Martinez Junior High School. Aspart of ongoing studies at Touro’s Graduate School of Education, your student is being invited toparticipate in a research study which has as its main purpose the investigation into reasons why studentschoose not to complete their assigned science homework. In addition, part of the investigation will be intostudent interest in completing and submitting homework on-line as opposed to completing work via thetraditional worksheet format.Students will be asked to fill out a homework questionnaire. The investigation will take place over a onemonth period. There is no risk for any participants of the study. Students will not be identified by name inany document. The information obtained from this study will be kept confidential and will only be reportedin statistical analyses with no specific connections made to individuals. At no point will the student’sidentity by revealed.Procedures: 6. Students will complete a questionnaire regarding their homework preferences and their reasons for not completing their homework. 7. A student technology survey will be taken. 8. Students will be assigned (by class – not individually) either on-line or worksheet homework for the week. 9. A quiz will be given on the work one to two days after the work is due. 10. The following week’s assignment will be the reverse – if they had worksheets to do then they will be asked to complete the next work on-line. 11. Students will have access to computers at school in Room D107 before and after school if there is no available on-line set-up at home. Computers are available daily in the school library before school and at lunch.
Students whose parents have not given permission will participate in the same classroom activities. Thedecision whether or not to participate will not interfere with your course grade, or current or futurerelationships with your teacher.If you have any questions about the study please contact either myself at Martinez Junior High Schoollnourse@martinez.k12.ca.us or at 925-313-0414X1407 or Dr. Pamela Redmond at the Touro GraduateSchool of Education (707)-638-5452 or Pamela.email@example.com.Thank you,Lauren Nourse Pamela RedmondMartinez Junior High School Professor, Graduate School of EducationScience Touro University, Vallejo, California______________________________________________________________________________________________________I AGREE DO NOT AGREE (circle one) to participate in this researchstudy_______________________________ _____________Signature of Student DateI have read this form and agree to have my child take part in the research.______________________________ ______________Parent/Guardian Signature DateContact information for the PI and for the IRB MUST be included in subject consentdocumentation along withcopies of any surveys or interview questions.