Active Learning, Homework, Team-Based Learning, Adaptive Learning, Remote Teaching
Ludwig, Jeffrey T.
With the recent advent of sophisticated online and remotely accessible educational technology, prevalent even before its rapid acceleration due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the revolution in the contemporary university classroom is only getting started. The true transformation is most likely still ahead, and its eventual form is a source of spirited debate in administrative boardrooms across the nation. In light of all this, it is worthwhile to revisit the age-old question: Does Homework Matter? As a small step towards answering this large question, in this paper we report the results of a case study conducted at a large research-intensive university in the western United States on the effect of doing homework on final exam scores. The study was inspired by observing the high level of engagement and enthusiasm shown by students participating in adaptive team-based online in-classroom quizzes, a method of active learning. Our findings indicate that the statistical explanatory power of adaptive team-based quizzes is far greater than that of traditional homework problems, as measured by the classical coefficient of determination. We conclude with a comprehensive discussion of several explanatory factors of this compelling result and propose future directions for this exciting area of research.