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Journal Article

Homework assignments to enhance student engagement in secondary education

Maartje Buijs and Wilfried Admiraal
European Journal of Psychology of Education
Vol. 28, No. 3 (September 2013), pp. 767-779
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23581521
Page Count: 13
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Homework assignments to enhance student engagement in secondary education
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Abstract

Secondary school teachers often complain that their students show a disengaged attitude in class. Students do not prepare for lessons, they show a passive attitude towards classroom activities and they have a limited awareness of their own learning process. Based on a pilot study, four homework assignments were designed, implemented, and evaluated to stimulate students to prepare for history lessons and subsequently show a more engaged attitude and involvement in classroom activities. Two groups of, in total 50, 11th grade students of pre-university education participated in one group pre- post-test design. Data on student engagement in class is gathered by class observation: time on task, their level of activity, and amount and variety of questions students asked. Students' motivation and perceived learning outcomes are measured by means of a self-report: Three of the four homework assignments (jigsaw, preparing analytical skills, and the fragmented assessment) showed increase in student engagement compared to the baseline of the first two classes. Implications for practice are discussed.

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