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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Advantage of Online Homework

Glimpse of a That Quiz home study report. 
There are many advantages to online homework.

First, online homework provides an easy to review and assess report for the teacher. I can quickly scan the report to see who completed the task. I can also review the report to see how individual students and the whole class performed.

For example when I looked at the report this morning, I was quickly able to see who did the practice and who did not. I was able to send a quick note out to the families of the students who did not complete the work with the links so that families can help their children access the links and complete the tasks. I also sent out the link to our online home study page (see image at bottom of the page) in case they had misplaced that link. Parents can easily email me if there are questions or problems with the task and I can respond accordingly. This is an efficient, supportive process for student study and practice.

Example of one of many Khan Academy reports. 
Another advantage of online homework is the fact that it provides quick feedback. Rather than completing homework and waiting for a whole-class or teacher review, the child knows right away if his/her answer is correct or not. This quick feedback helps the child to solidify skill with greater efficiency in targeted ways. In addition, with programs like Khan, there are videos and hints to support student learning which enables students to be more independent with the tasks. This is advantageous for busy homes or homes where there is little academic support.

Further, the information provided by online reports helps me to determine teaching/learning paths. I can see where most of the class is succeeding and where they are challenged. I can also identify individual students who are having difficulty. The online practice leaves class time for more dynamic collaborative, project/problem based work too.

Finally, the online links mean less paper, less books to lug home, less chance of losing the assignment, and 24-7 anywhere, anytime access.

Are most of your home study assignments online tasks or do you assign a mix of online/offline practice?  Are there additional advantages to online homework that I missed?  What are the disadvantages?  How do you determine the right mix?  These are all questions I'll continue to review as I work with the learning team including students, families, colleagues, leaders, and community members to teach each child well.
Example of weekly home study chart. 

Sample of home study introductory chart.