Practice is an essential component in learning any new skill. For learning the quantitative disciplines at the university level, web-based homework management systems provide the means for extensive practice with immediate feedback, which research suggests should lead to increased student learning (Palocsay & Stevens, 2008; Titard, DeFranceschi, & Knight, 2014). Do web-based homework management systems improve student learning, as measured by exam scores, for adult learners in an online course? Does the use of simple Microsoft Excel-based homework templates relate to improved student exam scores? This natural experiment divided a sample of 2431 online students in an entry level university economics course into three treatment groups to look at the relationship between homework support and exam scores. Group A received no formal homework support. Group B got simple Microsoft Excel templates. Group C got an online homework management system with custom e-textbook. This study compares learning effectiveness of the three treatment approaches based on student exam scores. The results show that mean exam scores increased from 55.29% to 68.24%, with the addition of a web-based homework management system. Additionally, 74.52% of variance in exam scores was explained by variance in homework scores under the web-based homework management system that allowed three attempts on every question. This strong relationship suggests that practice provided by the web-based homework management system is correlated with increased student learning as evidenced by the increased exam scores.
Archer, Kathy K. and Olson, Mark
"Practice. Practice. Practice. Do Homework Management Systems Work?,"
International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning:
2, Article 12.
Available at: https://doi.org/10.20429/ijsotl.2018.120212
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