More HW does not equal more rigor

I just want to update parents, students, and educators on how my experiment with Standards-Based Grading and less homework is going.  Today marks the end of our first grading period here at Wood County Schools, WV.  I created a Google form where my students answered one question: what class was your hardest during this 1st 9 weeks?  I know my results are based purely on student opinion.  It’s tough to measure what class is really the “toughest” to students.  But nonetheless, it was a short, easy survey and students had every opportunity to answer honestly as the survey was completely anonymous.  All I did was make sure students didn’t answer more than once.  I was curious about how they would respond.  Would students consider my class one of the easiest because I give far less homework than the rest of my teammates?  Does assigning more homework increase rigor in a classroom?  Is there a correlation?  I think the results speak for themselves.  As of 4:00, Wednesday October 23, there were 77 total responses.

  • Reading: 5
  • Science: 12
  • WV Studies: 13
  • English: 17
  • Math: 30

Now, I don’t think it’s right to apply this data to any other class and base any conclusions off of the specific homework/grading procedures represented in those classes.   For example, I wouldn’t suggest that since I assign less HW, my class is more rigorous.  Nor would I suggest that since English assigns the most HW, that class is less rigorous.  I can only apply my students’ responses to my experiment with SBG and no HW.  I do think it’s ok for me to conclude that, according to the data, my students do consider my class challenging.  It appears that I don’t have to assign HW to make my class challenging.  Challenging students doesn’t have to be related to the amount of HW.  Unfortunately, I wonder how many educators would agree with that statement?

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