The purpose of homework is meant to be a reinforcement of what is learned in the classroom.
But by using online homework programs such as OWL and MyMathLab, teachers have sentenced their students to hours of trying to make good grades on the homework rather than studying what is important for the class.
A computer science major said about OWL, “I mean, the homework is much harder than what is actually taught in class.”
A general studies major who uses MyMathLab frequently said, “It’s so sensitive to what you put in as the answer, and a lot of times they won’t take the same variations of the answer. The answer will be right, but it will be counted wrong.”
Online homework may be easier for teachers because it is graded by the program, but it is much tougher on students who struggle to study for a big test on the same night that a homework assignment is due.
Basically, online homework tends to be outside the scope of a class and requires students to know much more than necessary for the parameters of the class.
A tutor in the tutorial center who helps students with OWL said, “It’s all random order and sometimes it doesn’t reflect what is going on in the class. If a student misses a problem, it just tells them it’s wrong. It doesn’t tell them why it is wrong.”
Homework could be presented as a chance for an optional grade or extra credit for those who want to further their own understanding of classroom material. After all, that is what homework was designed for in the first place.
By lowering the level of difficulty of the homework, Georgia Highlands could see fewer withdrawals in difficult courses like math and science and a higher pass rate of students who stay enrolled in the class.