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timing of online assignments

timing of online assignments

by Dick Lane -
Number of replies: 3
The model Calculus_1 course at
has weekly assignments over the previous week's content.  (It is unclear whether this model course has/had any written homework.)

My practice has been similar, but with written work for multi-step problems where there really is work to be shown and assessed.  E.g., for a class meeting MTWF, my WeBWorK assignment would open on Tuesday with content from preceding TWFM and close the following Monday or Tuesday while the written work would be collected on Friday (topics from previous FMTW) and returned the subsequent Monday together with my written solutions (and supplementary remarks).

That is prologue for these questions.

1)  Which schedules (weekly, 2-per-week, daily, etc) have been most effective for WeBWorK assignments?  What are the preferred durations (between open and close) for each choice of schedule for opening successive assignments?

2) What effect, if any, has the new option for a Reduced Credit period had on the scheduling choices?  on the overall duration?

3) I usually have the answers-available time be ten minutes after close of an assignment.  Is there a reason to lengthen that delay?

4) Has anybody experimented with a mixture of daily & weekly for WeBWorK assignments?  with what results?
  a) daily: routine (Bloom level 1 & 2) on assigned reading but before presentation or discussion during a class, use for Just-In-Time choice of topics to address in next class meeting
  b) weekly: application & analysis (Bloom 3 & 4), encourage group study to aid individual work
In reply to Dick Lane

Re: timing of online assignments

by Alex Jordan -
I can't say much for 1) or 2).

3) I make the answer date a day or two later than the due date, in case after the due date, I have some reason to give an extension. For example, if there is a server outage in the final hours before the due date. Or if a student has an emergency. This way they can get an extension without some brief period of having access to the answers.

4) I had assignments due twice a week one term. When I surveyed students at the end of the term, by more than 3 to 1 they said they would prefer one larger assignment per week to two smaller assignments. I don't always make choices based on student preference, but with this I have.
In reply to Dick Lane

Re: timing of online assignments

by Dick Lane -
The scope for (4a) should be broader. Although my previous use of ConcepTest items has been low-tech and during class meetings, the Cornell Good Questions project (http://www.math.cornell.edu/~GoodQuestions/) has used them online (http://www.math.cornell.edu/~GoodQuestions/materials.html)

5.0) what additional related question(s) should be addressed?
In reply to Dick Lane

Re: timing of online assignments

by Anneke Bart -
I actually assign 3 types of assignments:
  • WeBWorK
  • Written homework assignments
  • In class Worksheets
I don't really worry about having a fixed number of assignments per week. I assign them when we are done covering the material. I had a total of 34 assignments over 15 weeks (more than half of those are WeBWorK).
Webwork comes to 2 every 3 weeks. The students will have 3-5 days after being assigned to complete them. Problems are available 2 days after that to allow for extensions.