Date Approved

2005

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Teacher Education

Committee Member

Deborah Harmon, PhD, Chair

Committee Member

Peggy Liggit, PhD

Abstract

The purpose of the study is to determine if differentiating homework for biology will motivate students to complete and turn in homework, address the needs of diverse learners, and improve academic achievement. The rationale assumes there is a positive relationship between homework completion and academic achievement and that students have different learning styles that can be addressed by allowing choice of homework assignment based on Gardner’s multiple intelligences and Bloom’s taxonomy.

The research employs an experimental design composed of a control group (consisting of two classes) that received the traditional homework, and an experimental group (two classes) that was offered a “menu” of homework assignments. The results validate that differentiating homework is just as an effective tool for student learning as traditional homework. Differentiating homework benefits students of all ability levels; it enriches gifted students while it enables struggling learners to be appropriately engaged in the learning process.

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