Is homework interactive, stimulating, and engaging for all students?
The VicSRC Exec has been doing their own research into student’s views and approaches to homework by conducting an online survey and talking to peers.
The Victorian Parliament’s Education and Training Committee called for public input into its inquiry into approaches to homework in Victorian schools, focusing on the impact on student learning. Mrs Kronberg, the Committee chair, said that “the debate on the effectiveness of homework as an educational tool is not new but this important inquiry will clarify the current approaches in a Victorian context and will provide insights into best practice into the future.”
Ensuring the VicSRC is representative of a broad range of viewpoints was important. In order to capture the voice of students in Victoria we conducted an online survey. The survey was completed by 30 students ranging from Year 8 – 12. Students came from 25 different schools including catholic, independent and government. The survey asked a total of 12 questions under the major headings of:
What is the value of homework in relation to learning?
What is the current approach to homework in your school?
What is the future of homework?
We were excited with the interesting and varied feedback from students. Most students agreed that homework benefits their study and revision as they don’t usually have sufficient time to complete their work in class. Some students stated that it was good to revise the work that they had covered in school, so that the next day it would be fresh in their minds.
One student said “The value of homework to my learning is that it enables me to revise and improve on my knowledge, whilst being more independent. It also encourages me to seek help or further research via other sources, rather than relying on a teacher.” Another agreed, saying “Homework provides an ideal way to further work and engage students, whether individually or in a group, usually without the assistance of teachers.”
When asked about the future of homework student hoped that it would be more ‘enjoyable and valuable’. Another student said they hoped for ‘Interactive, stimulating, engaging for ALL students, not only the bright ones, or the average ones, or the underachievers.’ Some students called for homework to be ‘less and less’ arguing; that ‘it should be phased out to better balance a students' life’. Overwhelmingly students saw the future of homework in Victoria being online in different forms. One student wrote “I think the future of homework is soon to become an online one, where students will complete their homework and assignments on portals where teachers can monitor them.”
By Margaret Tran and Ron Garcia
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