95

My suggestion is that you stop thinking of homework as an assessment tool, and instead find the true meaning of homework, which is a method for students to gain proficiency with the ideas on their own. The key is to design your other assessment tools so as to motivate the students to see that doing homework is a good idea. My practice, for example, is to ...


65

This is a bit of a can of worms. Let's unpack a little. We were given no additional information other than that stated in the page. This is your daughter's homework, not yours. Be careful with this distinction, because coloring a child's question with adult interpretations can lead to trouble (and does in this case). it is not stated whether we are ...


55

The evidence says no What research I'm aware of is all about how giving any overall data about their own performance is actively harmful in promoting further learning. They learn considerably more from instruction about what to do differently in the absence of a grade or numerical score. To repeat; individual scores discourage learning! (Explanations for ...


41

The underlying issue is something that is hinted at in JDH's answer, but not explicitly stated. So I'd like to state it. The key is to decide what your homework is for. The big words are Formative and Summative. In short, formative assessment is designed to help you learn, summative assessment is designed to figure out what you've learnt. The ...


31

Students are used to other people being the source of truth. Even in an algebra class, they will do something (incorrect, at least in the common context) like this: $(x + 3)^2 = x^2 + 9$ and then ask me if it is correct, or if it actually goes a different way. The implication is that I know the truth and they cannot know it without me. My goal then ...


20

I always organize my courses with the totality of the course set from the outset whenever I can. I see this as being closely tied to your question concerning homeworks assigned. The benefits I see: Keeps me and my students on track. The semester invariably gets busy, it's nice to have a go-to place where everything is set from the outset. I can always ...


18

I don't want to argue about if one should still teach integration techniques or not (could be a good separate question) but ask under the premise that it is meaningful to learn integration techniques and that homework has to be done: How should you design homework today to let students learn integration techniques? One answer is trust, but verify. For ...


17

First, make sure they know that: The purpose of exams is to test students' knowledge and understanding. The burden of proof is on their side, that is, blank/unreadable sheets work against them. The teachers might choose to decipher some of the messy work, but this choice is intrinsically unreliable, erratic and may produce unfair results. The teachers ...


17

The key is not just that you spend time on a problem - it is normal to struggle with problems at the level you have described - but that you do so in a productive way. In fact, the notion of productive struggle is present in the literature on Mathematics Education; see, for example, my earlier MESE response here. An interesting source to consult is the ...


16

I think a great reason to post homework solutions is so that students have a way of reviewing their homework before exams (it would be nice if they were to review homeworks whenever they get their graded work back, but this seems to be a rare practice). While a well-graded problem set should have comments pointing out any mistakes the student may have made, ...


15

I agree that this is a problem in teaching calculus and other classes where solutions manuals and online forums are readily available and I don't know that there exists any one thing that you can do. No matter what, a student can always find "help" somewhere. First some remarks If a student gets hold of a solutions manual, then it is of course easy for the ...


13

Here's another idea: Give a completely different type of homework assignment. For example, this year, collect all of your homework as usual. Look through the homework for examples of solutions that are clearly done by students, and which have mistakes in them. Choose representative samples of the student homework which have evidence of common misconceptions ...


13

We tried something that worked nicely (though not for all students). At the beginning of the course we announced that there will be a quiz during the semester, and the questions in the quiz will be taken from their HW assignments. This way they had to check the answers to these assignments. The downside is, as we noticed while checking the quizzes, that ...


13

I wouldn't put any such sentence on your door, just one in the syllabus explaining your make-up exam policy which should be determined at the beginning of the semester. You don't want to come off as mean, intimidating, or otherwise to students who might seriously have an issue where a make-up exam would be justifiable (illness, death of family, etc); not ...


13

I've come across some creative 10 year olds who produced solutions like So when there are questions set that seem closed you can allow it to be opened out and the child's exploration can begin, helping them to understand it's ok to think and not just follow convention.


12

You cannot prevent them from finding solutions, but there are some tricks to keep the difficulty of the homework and the make it more diffucult for those students to google solutions: If students have to proof theorems, don't name them in the question. If they have to perform an algorithm (like "Perform three steps of the Euler iteration"), don't name the ...


12

A homework assignment is there to help the students learn. A takehome exam is a test of the students' abilities and understanding. From a practical standpoint, a few of the main differences are: I usually encourage students to work together in groups on solving homework problems. By contrast, students must work individually when solving problems on a ...


12

First of all, I try to be honest with my students by telling them directly and explicitly about the existence of such integration machines (It is silly of me assuming that they don't know that!). Then, I add, but we don't integrate for the sake of integration. For us, it is a practice of problem solving in which we need to choose the right techniques from ...


11

Homework (and exam) solutions should be published, at the very least to enable students to request regrading. Yes, many students never look at the solutions (I even have a stack of homework and exams from last term that they didn't even bother to pick up). But that some don't bother isn't reason enough to deprive those who are interested of being able to ...


11

Can we include rich math tasks in our answers? If so, look at: http://visualpatterns.org http://graphingstories.com http://map.mathshell.org http://www.illustrativemathematics.org/ http://threeacts.mrmeyer.com http://www.estimation180.com/ http://www.dailydesmos.com/ http://betterassessments.wordpress.com/ http://maththinking.org/ http://www....


11

Besides mastering the material in the course one thing that the students have to learn during studies is to communicate mathematics in written form. Almost nobody comes to university and is able to write clear proofs or mathematical arguments. You need to communicate that this is part of what they have to learn. You may grade as harsh as you like if you are ...


11

Make clear that the "make sure the proof is correct" is part of the work to be done in the homework. If it is my proof, or yours, or from <famous textbook> that is wrong, the answer is wrong. (Yes, need to emphasize that even the above cited authorities get it wrong sometimes).


11

The following answer is just my opinion and might not address your particular situation. To oversimplify a bit, most students either want to do the homework for their own reasons (enlightenment, fun, or preparation for the exams,) or only do the homework in order to receive credit. To get group (1) to take the homework seriously, you don't need to do ...


11

TL;DR Yes, as long as the teacher didn't explicitly forbid it, you wrote the mathematical core of the program yourself, the technique you are using doesn't twist the intent of the problem. Teacher explicitly forbid such solutions: In such case you are going against the teacher's will. In an ideal world the teacher will explain his motivation in a ...


10

Some ideas I've developed over the years: Give the answer (for example: sin(x)/2) and have the student find two or three questions (ex."what is the function whose derivative is") with this answer, of course before studying integral calculus. "Audrey thinks that the integral of a product of functions is the product of the integrals of the functions. Write ...


10

Why do so few professors assign extra credit? In my experience, the attitude towards extra credit is consistent throughout the department. Nearly every professor in the education department at my university puts extra credit questions on the test, but only a few in the math department do. After chatting with other students and professors, this seems to be ...


10

Personally I encourage students to write answers that make sense as a self-contained piece of writing, because I think that that is a valuable skill. Certainly it is required when writing about mathematics in any context other than homework or exams. This generally means that they need to reproduce some or all of the content of the question, possibly ...


10

In order to cultivate a greater appreciation for precision in one's mathematical statements, I ask my students not to copy the problem question, but rather to transform it from a question or problem statement into a theorem statement, which they then prove or solve. For example, if the quiz question is Is the ring $\mathbb{Z}_2\oplus \mathbb{Z}_3$ an ...


10

The way I choose to combat this is to make my -> Homework Guidelines <- very clear from the start of the semester. I expect the students to follow the guidelines and have the disclaimer that "If your turned-in homework takes too much effort to read, it will not be graded!" Since I have instituted my guidelines, the homework assignments have been ...


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