The effect of graded homework in a high school chemistry classroom focused on students' longterm retention, study skills, and confidence in the content

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Letters & Science


One part of being a high school science student (or a high school student in general) is completing homework. Homework has become futile in many schools around the United States as districts push towards 'No Homework' policies. It seems that high school science students are not benefitting from this movement; but instead are achieving lower assessment scores, losing their confidence in test taking, and are lacking independent study skills. During my Action Research project I investigated whether graded homework not only had an impact on students understanding of the content, but, also investigated students' attitudes towards homework, study skills, and confidence during tests based on whether or not homework was graded. Throughout the first semester of chemistry, students were assigned homework that was graded every other unit, allowing for a direct comparison on how graded homework affected students learning. Test scores, percentage of homework completed, unit surveys, and final assessment scores were used to determine whether or not grading homework improved unit test scores, independent study skills, and long-term retention of each standard taught. The results showed that graded homework, with feedback, showed an increase in students unit assessment scores, especially for those in the 'below proficient' grade level. Unit surveys and questionnaires strongly indicated that students felt more confident on tests, felt they were better independent learners, and had stronger study skills when they were graded on their homework as a result of feeling the necessity to complete it. Overall, it was shown in my results that when homework was graded more students choose to complete it, and therefore, performed better on unit tests and would potentially retain content longer as observed in their final assessment scores.




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