Completing homework assignments allows students to practice their skills—and then receive feedback on their work from teachers. Based on student homework, teachers can assess how each student is performing independently outside of the context of the classroom. By providing a tool of formative assessment, homework can be just as helpful to teachers as it is for students.
Many studies show that Knowledge of Students (KOS) is linked to higher student performance. Researchers Heather Hill and Mark Chin (2018) demonstrated that a teacher’s KOS was a significant predictor of students’ mathematics state test scores when controlling for prior year performance (i.e., “value added” gains).
KOS is particularly relevant to mathematics studies, and multiple studies have confirmed that observed that teachers who could more accurately predict their students’ mathematics performance (i.e., who had higher KOS) were those with higher value-added scores (i.e., had higher gains in students learning as measured by a standardized test).
By providing a tool for teachers to assess continuous student progress, homework is critical in the development of teacher KOS. Utilizing the insights from a homework review, a teacher can correct student errors before they are reinforced through homework practice.
Educators are increasingly eager to implement formative assessment into the classroom. More and more curricula are being built to incorporate the principles of formative assessment and KOS into daily teaching practice.
Though formative assessment is very important to educational gains, the pressure to give feedback can place a heavy burden on teachers. To give students accurate and frequent feedback, teachers may end up grading for hours each night. Even worse, the comments a teacher writes may be repeated over and over again. It may take a teacher an hour to write, “Combine your terms!” on 30 papers, whereas this could be accomplished in five minutes with the use of effective EdTech tools.
Luckily, ed tech tools such as ASSISTments allow teachers to easily use common common wrong answers to inform their teaching. Watch Chris Driscoll describe how learning common wrong answers through ASSISTments has transformed his classroom.
In this lesson Chris Driscoll reviews homework in such a way that would not be possible without the assistance of ASSISTments data.