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  • 1. Why is homework a dirty word? Lauren Nourse College of Education, Touro University - California, Mare Island, Vallejo, CA 94592 Introduction The necessity of homework is a hotly debated topic. Some teachers firmly believe in the value of homework. Others do not. Some research supported the idea that homework reinforces and helps to cement curriculum introduced in the classroom. Other research suggested that that students are overwhelmed with too many hours of homework and that most homework is a waste of time and leads to major stress within families. In an effort to combine the needs of the teacher to have students do some work at home to keep the classroom curriculum moving forward, and the desire of the student to be using some form of technology for most of their after school hours, the research set out to investigate the possibility of adapting routine weekly science homework to the web. Traditional?? OR The New Bandwagon?? ? Paper and Pencil OR Computer Conclusion Research supports the notion of homework for a variety of reasons: integrates separately learned skills and concepts, dispels the notion that learning occurs only in school, supllmenet in-school academic activities, reinforces school learning, prompots greater self direction and self discipline, and more. Yet students are finding more justifications for not completing this work. Can using computers and the internet bring these Digital Natives to regain an interest in completing their homework? In spite of the huge growth in access to the internet through home computers and hand-held devices, this research indicates that students at this middle school are not ready to embrace the technology for routine school use. Homework continues to remain “ a dirty word.” Literature cited Bednnett, S, & Kalish, N. (2006). The Case against homework: how homework is hurting our children and what can we do about it . New York: Crown Publishers. Bempechat, J. (2004). The Motivational benefits of homework: a social-cognitive perspective. Theory into Practice , 43 (3), 189-196. Bonham, S, Beichner, R, & Deardorff, D. (2001). Online homework: does it make a difference?. The Physics teacher , 30 , 293-296. Bonham, S, Deardorff, D, & Beichner, R. (2003). A Comparison of student performance using web and paper-based homework in college-level physics. Journal of Research in Science Teaching , 40 (10), 1050-1071. Bryan, T, Burstein, K, & Bryan, J. (2004). Improving homework comletion and academic performance; lessons from special education. Theory into Practice , 43 (3), 213-219 Cooper, H, Robinson, J, & Patall, E. (2006). Does Homework improve academic achievement? a synthesis of research, 1987-2003. Review of Educational Research , 76 (1), 1-62. Corno, L. (2000). Looking at homework differently. The Elementary School Journa l, 100 (5), 529-548. Kohn, A. (2006). The Homework myth; why our kids get too much of a bad thing . Philadelphia, PA: De Capo Press. Kralovec, E. & Buell, J. (2000). The end of homework: How homework disrupts families, overburdens children, and limits learning. Boston: Beacon Press Landing-Corretjer, G. (2009). Listen to me! An exploration of the students’ voices regarding homework. Doctoral Study, Walden University. Marzano, R, & Pickering , D. (2007). The Case for and against homework. Educational Leadership , 64 (6), 74-79. Mendicino, M, Razzaq, L, & Heffernan, N. (2009). A Comparison of traditional homework to computer-supported homework. Journal of Research on Technology in Education , 41 (3), 331-358. Schuster, N. (2009). The Impact of Homework and Homework Preferences in Ninth Grade Geography . University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse. Simplicio, J.S.C. (2005). Homework in the 21st century: The antiquated and ineffectual implementation of a time honored educational strategy. Education . 126(1), 138-142 Acknowledgments This researcher would like to thank professor Pamela Redmond for her patience and support. I would also like to thank my fellow cohort members for their grace and humor throughout the project. In addition, completion would not have occurred without the tremendous support of my family, Dan, Marilyn and Elaine. For further information For more information please contact [email_address] Conclusion Analysis of the results of the Chapter 1 versus Chapter 2 research showed a deterioration of homework turn in rates when an on-line option was offered to the students. Additionally, student scores on the final exam for the research period (Chapter 2) were substantially lower than for the pre-research period (Chapter 1). The research indicates that the homework turn in rates were not increased when students were offered option for methods of completion. However, those that chose to use the on-line component for homework turn in had a higher percentage of homework turned in (88% compared to 77%) and averaged higher test scores (70.7% compared to 59.8%). Since those who turned in homework on-line had higher completion rates than those using paper and pencil and also scored higher on the chapter final exam, a conclusion can be drawn that completing homework did lead to improved test scores overall. The chart below compares student compliance between the two focus chapters . Materials and Methods Step 1: Investigate homework turn in rates prior to start of study (Chapter 1) Step 2: Analyze test scores for unit preceding study (Chapter 1) Step 3: Administer student study preference survey Step 4: Get student commitment on method of completing homework Step 5: Evaluate homework turn in rates during course of research (Chapter 2) Step 6: Analyze test scores for unit post study (Chapter 2) Step 7: Compare turn in rates and test scores of students who turned in homework on-line and those who chose the familiar paper and pencil format. Diagnosing Students do not complete homework assignments Action Plan Students need to be given optional methods to turn in completed homework Taking Action An on-line alternate will be offered to allow students to complete and submit homework on-line Evaluating Did providing an option to traditional pen- and paper homework improve homework turn in rates? Specific Learning Results? Results show that the method for doing homework had no impact on student’s desire to do the homework. 5 Phases of Research Plan Results Analysis of data shows that whole class homework completion rates actually decreased over the period of the study .