Reconceptualizing Homework as Independent Learning


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This presentation describes independent learning opportunities and keeping an independent learning journal as alternatives to traditional homework.

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Reconceptualizing Homework as Independent Learning

  1. 1. John Spiri Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology
  2. 2. Characteristics of Homework <ul><li>a specific assignment </li></ul><ul><li>utilized in class and/or </li></ul><ul><li>corrected by teacher </li></ul><ul><li>explicitly required and/or </li></ul><ul><li>homework material to appear on test </li></ul><ul><li>Definition: In the broadest sense, homework occurs when students spend time on course-related study outside of scheduled class hours due to a teacher’s request/demand. </li></ul><ul><li>Researchers and university faculty, perhaps, prefer the term assignments over homework . </li></ul>
  3. 3. Reasons for Homework <ul><li>Researchers such as Warton point out that, according to teachers, homework aims to: </li></ul><ul><li>promote academic learning </li></ul><ul><li>develop skills </li></ul><ul><li>ease time restraints on the curriculum </li></ul><ul><li>respond to political pressures </li></ul>
  4. 4. Perspectives on Homework <ul><li>“ Most research has emphasized the links between traditional achievement outcomes and time spent on homework.” </li></ul><ul><li>Warton </li></ul><ul><li>Given this focus, researchers’ assessments “ranged from homework having positive effects, no effects, or complex effects to the suggestion that the research was too sparse or poorly conducted to allow trustworthy conclusions.” </li></ul><ul><li>Cooper, Lindsay, Nye & Greathouse </li></ul>
  5. 5. Libertarian Educators Perspective <ul><li>John Taylor Gatto winner of New York city Teacher of the year in 1989, 1990, and 1991, and New York state Teacher of the Year award in 1991, and author of Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling among other books has written: </li></ul><ul><li>“ It is absurd and anti-life to move from cell to cell at the sound of a gong for every day of your natural youth in an institution that allows you no privacy and even follows you into the sanctuary of your home demanding that you do its ‘homework’”. </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>“ Education as banking is not liberating but contributes to the docility and alienation of the oppressed.” </li></ul><ul><li>Paulo Freire </li></ul><ul><li>“ We can depend on self-motivated learning instead of employing teachers to bribe or compel the student to find the time and the will to learn.” </li></ul><ul><li>Ivan Illich </li></ul><ul><li>“ Viewed as an object to be worked upon, the child becomes a focal point for the imposition of ideals and ideologies… The child treated as an object is treated as an animal. The child treated as a subject would be treated as a human being.” </li></ul><ul><li>Joel Spring </li></ul>Other Libertarian Educators Perspective
  7. 7. Considerations for Giving Assignments at a University <ul><li>course requirements </li></ul><ul><li>department requirements </li></ul><ul><li>a required course or not </li></ul><ul><li>a course related to the student’s major or not </li></ul><ul><li>teacher is full-time or part-time </li></ul><ul><li>teacher’s perspective </li></ul>
  8. 8. an Independent Learning System <ul><li>involves a certain amount of choice </li></ul><ul><li>not required </li></ul><ul><li>extra credit given which can raise grade </li></ul><ul><li>not utilized in class </li></ul><ul><li>not corrected by teacher </li></ul><ul><li>involves CALL (avoiding sites that require sign-up) </li></ul>
  9. 14. 2 nd Year Student Survey Responses <ul><li>Do you prefer the ILS (choosing activities from the website, writing an ILS journal, etc.) or typical homework (hw) (teacher assigns activities which are then utilized in the class)? </li></ul>
  10. 15. 1 st Year Student Survey Responses <ul><li>Do you prefer the ILS (choosing activities from the website, writing an ILS journal, etc.) or typical homework (hw) (teacher assigns activities which are then utilized in the class)? </li></ul>
  11. 16. 2 nd Year Student Survey Responses <ul><li>Did ILS motivate you to study English? </li></ul>
  12. 17. 1 st Year Student Survey Responses <ul><li>Did ILS motivate you to study English? </li></ul>
  13. 18. <ul><li>2 nd year Student Comments, May 18, 2009 (Agriculture) </li></ul><ul><li>I like youtube video but sometimes I can’t hear English because its speed is a little quick. So I try it hard </li></ul><ul><li>The ILS motivates me more than typical homework. </li></ul><ul><li>The obligation of this homework (ILS) motivate me to study English and unless no homework I have I perhaps never study English so I need this. </li></ul><ul><li>Sorry I have not do ILS. </li></ul><ul><li>I think ILS is good because studying English becomes so fun! </li></ul><ul><li>I think reading nice sentences in English develops our English skills. </li></ul><ul><li>I think ILS is good. </li></ul><ul><li>I want to take les time to do ILS or typical homework. </li></ul><ul><li>interesting! </li></ul><ul><li>I can learn English every time I want to do it. If I have a lot of time, I can do much and when I don’t have a lot of time, I can choose short learning program. It’s very good for me. </li></ul><ul><li>I love Word Quest very much. Getting high score is fun. </li></ul><ul><li>ILS is fun when I can find interesting websites. </li></ul><ul><li>If you know a movie, story or music… that we should see, please tell us about them in class. </li></ul><ul><li>Today’s morning, I couldn’t see Yomiuri English podcast on your website because of mentenance. What’s happen? </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>Student Survey Comments
  14. 19. <ul><li>2 nd year Student Comments, May 19, 2009 (Technology) </li></ul><ul><li>I think ILS is very good </li></ul><ul><li>I enjoy youtube videos </li></ul><ul><li>I want to do more quizs than to read or watch videos at ILS. </li></ul><ul><li>listening of You tube is good. </li></ul><ul><li>The ILS: I can study what I am interested in. </li></ul><ul><li>typical homework: I can correct my answers with my friends. </li></ul><ul><li>This ILS makes me study English more so it’s good. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>Student Survey Comments
  15. 20. Student Survey Comments <ul><li>First Year Student Comments, May 22, 2009 (Technology) </li></ul><ul><li>It is difficult for me to write many sentences. </li></ul><ul><li>I love English. </li></ul><ul><li>It’s very good. I can learn English effectively. </li></ul><ul><li>I like read readings on the website. </li></ul><ul><li>I think: ILS is good system. </li></ul><ul><li>In that website there are many topic. So it’s a interesting. </li></ul>
  16. 21. CALL Ideas for ILS <ul><li>Wikispaces to set up class websites </li></ul><ul><li>Hot Potatoes for generating quizzes </li></ul><ul><li>Scan youtube for short, understandable topic-related video </li></ul><ul><li>To subtitle video, </li></ul><ul><li>To download video, Tubesock </li></ul><ul><li>Other subtitling software includes Submerge (Mac) and SubRip (Windows) </li></ul>
  17. 22. Wikispaces
  18. 23. CALL Ideas for ILS
  19. 25. CALL Ideas for ILS
  20. 26. CALL Ideas for ILS
  21. 27. Subtitling <ul><li>Submerge for Mac </li></ul><ul><li>needs .srt file </li></ul><ul><li>SubRip </li></ul>
  22. 28. Adding Subtitles to Video <ul><li>Div Media Subtitler lets you create subtitles for videos on your computer. </li></ul>
  23. 29. <ul><li>Thank you for listening. </li></ul><ul><li>Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or would like any of the materials you have seen here today: </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>
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