I know – “Great teachers set great homework” is not an unknown phrase and many use it to encourage all teachers to include homework in their repertoire of skills and tools to support students’ learning.
Elsewhere in this web site we have quoted Tom Sherrington and his interpretation of John Hattie’s research. Also, Tom’s article ‘Homework matters: great teachers set great homework‘ clearly argues a positive case for homework. I also recently came across an article by Ross McGill (@TeacherToolkit) expounding the virtues of setting homework and he sees homework as helping to raise standards. Read his article ‘10 reasons to love #homework by @TeacherToolkit‘. Both authors root their opinion in both research and practice and I’m sure many teachers can attest to its value.
Why is homework a challenge?
If homework has many benefits and helps students attain and progress why isn’t homework a key element in teaching for many people? Homework can become a chore for teachers – perceived as being a lot of work for little benefit.
So let’s analyse the low-benefit work in the whole process of setting and managing homework for a teacher. Creating a meaningful homework is exciting but then the process can go downhill.
Making sure every student is aware of the homework can be a challenge in a busy classroom at the end of a lesson. Ensuring you know the progress of each student in completing their homework is almost impossible and so you cannot pre-empt late submissions and talking of late submissions any marking schedule you set yourself is thrown out of the window leading to stress and fire-fighting trying to get the homework in for marking and assessments completed.
The whole exercise can lose its value not because of the homework content but because of the administration of homework with the result that the value in raising attainment and progress becomes lost.
Wouldn’t it be great if …
Well, you can do more than imagine!
ZiLink Homework is a new Moodle Activity that enables you to create a homework from resources and activities in Moodle. Students see their homeworks in Student View and parents see the homework in their portal, Guardian View. Check out ‘What’s my homework?’ for details and if you use ZiLink Homework you will not have to imagine any more.