Accuracy of self correction improves homework

Self-scoring of homework saves teachers time and encourages students to monitor their own performance. New York State researchers studied the effects of rewarding students for accuracy in correcting their math homework. Previous research on self-scoring indicates that it can be effective in increasing achievement.

In the Miller et al. study, a sixth-grade teacher read the answers to math homework problems while students corrected their own papers. Students were told that if they made no errors in correcting their papers for two days, they would be given a day of no homework. Students were instructed to do their homework in pencil and to correct in pen. No evidence of cheating was found. The students’ accuracy was monitored carefully before the experiment began, during the time a reward was given, when the reward was temporarily removed, and again when it was reinstated. Results of this study show that offering a reward not only improved students’ accuracy in correcting their homework, but also improved achievement. Carefully attending to corrections apparently improved performance on homework. During intervals when the reward was offered, student accuracy and performance improved significantly. It dropped when the reward was withdrawn.

The authors of this study call for further research to confirm results with larger samples of students. They also recommend more research on the correlation between improved homework accuracy and test performance.

“Improving the Accuracy of Self-Corrected Mathematics Homework”, Journal of Educational Research, Volume 86, Number 3, pp. 184-189.

Published in ERN May/June 1993, Volume 6, Number 3.

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