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In Master’s Vlog #38 I will discuss my initial plans for my Action Research Project. This project will become the capstone of my Master’s Degree Program at San Diego Christian College. I hope this will be an insightful glimpse into the first draft of this research process, and I will cover some of the revisions that will occur in the next episode.

Area-of-focus statement

The purpose of my study will be to describe the effects of homework (listening to a podcast review) on assessment performance when assessed on the following class meeting after a lecture.

A secondary purpose of my study will be to describe the effects of homework on the energy levels of students during the school day.

In greater detail, I will give a lesson via the same methods to two different United States History class groups. I will lecture with a combination of visuals through a Powerpoint presentations, some primary source materials that will be distributed to each student, and a collaborative conversation with partners and the entire class. The lesson will take place during a 90-minute class. I will use classes of High School Juniors. One group will receive a homework assignment that will assess their understanding of the day’s lectures, and it will be due the following class. I will judge the performance of the homework group (podcast review listening), and compare it to the non-homework group, and observe any differences that may result.

I will survey the results of the assessment and compare the two groups. I will also assess their fatigue, via a survey, before the class lectures, after the class lectures, before the quizzes, and after the quizzes. This will be four data points on fatigue that can be compared. This will also present student data on the performance of the quiz, with one group having had an assignment, and one group that did not have an assignment.

I would observe whether or not homework helps students perform at a higher, lower, or the same rate. I would also survey students to find out how much their energy levels were affected by having homework on this date, and their feelings on having homework in general.

2. Variables

The main variable I will explore are the scores on an assessment of High School United States history students after either having homework assigned or not.

A second variable I will explore is the energy level of students who have been given homework. I will also survey the energy level of students who have not been given homework. Students will self-report their energy level at four different periods. The energy data points will be before and after each lesson and each assessment.

One group will be given homework. One group will not. The constant will be the lectures, and class experiences on the days of the lectures.

Definitions (Dictionary.com) Fatigue – weariness from bodily or mental exertion.

Energy – the capacity for vigorous activity; available power

3. Potential Research Questions Statement/Observation: The take home workload of high school Juniors seems to add stress to, and reduce energy levels of, those students during the school day. Homework quantity seems to reduce the energy students have at school.

Question: Does homework affect the energy level of students?

Statement/Observation: I want to know if doing a homework assignment after a lecture would help improve performance on a quiz (a.k.a. assessment) the next day.

Question: Does homework affect the scores of assessments given on the following class meeting?

Question: Does homework affect the retention of information among High School history students?

4. Description of the Intervention I will present a mini-unit in the form of a series of lectures and then quiz students on the following class day that each lesson was given. One group will be given a homework assignment. One group will not. I will compare the group performance on the quizzes, by taking the average scores, and compare them. I will also survey the students to report their energy levels, before and after the lectures, and before and after the quizzes.

5. Resources I will create a series of single-day lectures on a mini-unit in United States history.

Powerpoint presentation

Quickwrite Journal topic for the start of the class

Conversation topics for partnered discussion Homework assignment

Quiz based on the lecture

A fatigue survey

6. Data Collection Ideas I will collect two classes in each group (homework and non homework). Or I could collect one class set of data for each group. I’m not sure if increasing the sample size makes this particular point of research more accurate.

For more information please visit https://sdcc.edu/graduate/master-arts-teaching/