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Online Homework Management Systems: Should We Allow Multiple Attempts?

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Author Info

  • Rhodes, M. Taylor

    ()
    (Lawrence University)

  • Sarbaum, Jeffrey K.

    ()
    (University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics)

Abstract

Conventional pencil and paper wisdom suggests that allowing multiple attempts on homework will lead to more time spent on homework, higher homework grades, and better exam performance. For a variety of reasons, homework is increasingly being auto-administered online. This paper discusses the results of a quasi-experiment designed to evaluate student behavior under single and multiple attempt homework settings using an online homework management system. The paper explores whether multiple attempts lead to more effort and improved performance, and evaluates alternative, less desirable, behaviors that are potentially incentivized. We find that multiple attempts leads to gaming behavior that results in grade inflation without improvement in learning outcomes. The findings are important in that they provide guidance and insight into best practices to maximize student outcomes when choosing online homework settings.

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File URL: http://bae.uncg.edu/assets/research/econwp/2013/13-14.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 13-14.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: 01 Oct 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ris:uncgec:2013_014

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Keywords: Student effort and performance; Assessment settings; Multiple attempts;

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  1. William Lee & Richard H. Courtney & Steven J. Balassi, 2010. "Do Online Homework Tools Improve Student Results in Principles of Microeconomics Courses?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 283-86, May.
  2. Georg Schaur & Michael Watts & William E. Becker, 2008. "Assessment Practices and Trends in Undergraduate Economics Courses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 552-56, May.
  3. Kim Sosin & Betty J. Lecha & Rajshree Agarwal & Robin L. Bartlett & Joseph I. Daniel, 2004. "Efficiency in the Use of Technology in Economic Education: Some Preliminary Results," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 253-258, May.
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