Quality Homework: A Smart Idea

For this reading assignment we were to read four different segments, three dealing with plagiarism and the last dealing with the quality homework and different learning techniques. The article called “Quality Homework- A Smart Idea” by Jessica Walsh of the New York Times included some particularly interesting studies. It brought up how now days, the quantity of homework students receive causes a noticeable decrease in the quality of the work. Researchers have found that “spaced repetition” positively impacts a students learning. Spaced repetition is repeatedly exposing students to the same information thus causing a more permanent embedment of the information in their minds. Another learning technique was referred to as “retrieval practice.” An example of this is frequent quizzes. By recalling the same information from your brain over and over, the more likely it is that you’ll remember it. The final learning technique found in the article used what was called “desirable difficulties” to help students learn. The theory behind this technique is to make students work hard to understand information. By a student working harder to grasp concepts, the more likely are the chances of them remembering it. This is because the extra effort signals the brain of the worthiness of the information being presented.

I found this article to be extremely intriguing. I agree completely with all of the learning techniques presented. In high school a lot of my teachers used the spaced repetition and retrieval practice techniques. These techniques are very similar in which repetitiveness plays a major role. Personally, the more I am exposed to the same subject the more likely I am to recall it and actually understand it. For example, in my pre-calculus class we had quizzes every few days. Having to constantly recall information from previous days helped me to fully understand and comprehend the subject matter we were presented with.

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