Monday, April 27, 2015

How Homework has Evolved in My Class

Russavia // wikipedia
 After offloading direct instruction to flipped videos, the idea of homework has changed greatly. In my earlier teaching years, I would save the most difficult thinking for homework because there wasn't enough time to do it in class.

When I first started to flip, the videos and associated Google form and guided notes became homework. The Google form grew from accountability understanding-level questions to having students submit questions and evaluate the videos. 

As my class became asynchronous, homework almost faded into obscurity. Homework and class work blends into each other. Basically, students map out their week on Monday and decide what they need to get done in class and out of class each day. Perhaps they have a long night away from home on Tuesday and need to make up for it Wednesday night. Perhaps they slacked off in class on Friday and need to add some work for the weekend. Maybe they failed a quiz and need to complete the remediation activities only required after a poor showing on a quiz, as well as study for the retake. As Spider-Man warns, with great power comes great responsibility. 

Along with this change, came the philosophy that not all students need the same amount of work or practice. For problem sets, students complete the handful of mandatory problems that I have denoted as important. They won't ever have to complete the additional problems, unless they feel the need or fail a quiz. The idea is not all sizes fit but "poor" decisions are not rewarded. Once interventions become necessary, then students loose some of that delicious freedom!