Figure 1. Students Suggest Homework Alternatives
In This Learning Situation. . .
Instead of This
You introduced new material in class.
Assigning a question set so we will remember the material.
Ask us to think up a homework task that follows up on this material and to explain our choices.
You want us to read an article before a class discussion.
Making us answer questions that prove we read it.
Ask us to write down two or three questions we have after reading the article.
You want to see whether we understand a key concept (such as literary irony).
Making us complete a worksheet.
Ask us to demonstrate the concept for the class in small groups, using any medium.
You want us to see how a math procedure applies in various situations.
Assigning 10 word problems that involve this procedure.
Ask small groups to choose one word problem that applies this procedure in a real-world situation, solve it, and present it to the class.
You want us to memorize facts (such as dates in history).
Handing out a list that we will be tested on.
Ask each student to share with the class a memorization trick (such as a visual cue) that works with one item on this list.
You want us to remember what you taught last month.
Assigning a review sheet.
Give frequent short pop quizzes about earlier material. Go over each quiz, but don't count the grade.