The effects of online homework in a university finite mathematics course

TitleThe effects of online homework in a university finite mathematics course
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference2011
AuthorsAxtell, M, Curran, E
Conference NameIn (Eds.) S. Brown, S. Larsen, K. Marrongelle, and M. Oehrtman, Proceedings of the 14th Annual Conference on Research in Undergraduate Mathematics Education
Conference LocationPortland, OR

Authors' abstract: Over the past 15 years, mathematics departments have begun to incorporate online homework systems in mathematics courses, touting benefits for students and instructors alike. However, the impact of web-based homework systems on student engagement, learning, and perception are poorly understood. This preliminary study seeks to add to this body of research by comparing the performance and experience of students taking an undergraduate finite mathematics course in a traditional paper/pencil homework format to that of students completing the same course, with the same instructor, using an online homework format. While statistically significant results comparing the two sections on learning outcomes were few, descriptive analysis yields consistent trends suggesting that student learning may be enhanced through online homework participation. However, despite potential positive impacts on learning, students in the online homework section were significantly less likely than their traditional homework counterparts to rate their course as “excellent” on end-of-semester course evaluation forms.