By Clarissa Cabbage, APTES Faculty Member

In the last few terms, I have posted “Homework Tips” in the class announcements. I use this document to highlight important instructions and provide tips, hints, examples, and any extra resources on the week’s homework (HW) – all in one place!

The need for this developed from repeatedly answering the same questions about the homework just before and during the weekend…even though I answered many of these questions in the live sessions! These questions came from those who were active in live sessions, students who were not present, and students who were present but didn’t participate.

Clarissa Cabbage 1

In addition to missing the directions, another common occurrence led to creating this homework aid; most of our students complete homework over the weekend due to their weekday jobs and other responsibilities. I provide directions on how to complete the assignments during the last class of the week (Wednesday or Thursday). However, even if students were present and participating in class, this leaves several days for the information to escape the students’ minds.

When I started posting “Homework Tips” in the course shell, I received a large amount of positive feedback from students. They said the tips were helpful for refreshing their memories when finally sitting down to complete the assignment on Saturday or Sunday. Many students even completed the assignment on the tips document that I posted!

Benefits of “Homework Tips”:

  • Discussing the document in class facilitates students looking at homework earlier in the week and encourages students to ask questions
  • The posted tips specifically state the instructor’s expectations
  • I repeat myself less and receive fewer homework questions over the weekend
  • Grading becomes easier and more efficient due to fewer “silly” student errors
  • Provides students another avenue to learn, especially for those who cannot attend live sessions

Steps for Creating “Homework Tips” with Microsoft Office (Word or Excel):

  1. Download and open HW document from the course shell
  2. Save to google drive or computer
  3. Highlight to call attention to any specific parts you want to call attention to
  4. Use the mouse to select the portion of text you want to make a comment on
  5. Press: Ctrl + Alt + M to add a note
  6. Save & upload tip document into LearnBryan (I add it to the class announcements)
  7. Screen share this document in class each week

(For Google Docs or Slides, use your cursor to highlight an excerpt of the text. Then, right click on the highlighted portion and choose “Comment” to add your insights).

Posting these homework tips have made both the students’ lives and my life a little easier. I hope they help you as well!