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How Different Incentives Affect Homework Completion in Introductory Physics Courses

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Journal Article - Open Access

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United States Air Force Academy Air Force Academy United States

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This article quantitatively examines the effects that different incentives have on students homework completion rates in introductory physics courses at the United States Air Force Academy. Our data suggest that no more than 10-15 of the total course points need to be allocated to homework to maximize completion of homework through a grade incentive. In addition, we find that there is a strong relationship between students perception of the benefits of homework and homework completion rates. Students completed nearly 20 more homework when their average perception of homework increased by 0.5 points on a 4-point Likert scale. Finally, we find that giving students in-class quizzes taken directly from homework resulted in 15 greater homework completion than giving them in-class quizzes that were only conceptually related to homework. We believe that these quantitative findings, many of which agree with common-sense notions of physics educators, will significantly aid designers of introductory physics courses in making homework the most effective learning tool that it can be for their respective courses.

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  • Humanities and History

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