Improved homework grades are associated with better exam performance
We did our homework on the impact of implementing homework in Mastering Physics. We conducted research across two semesters of introductory physics courses and ran a series of analyses linking student use of Mastering Physics with performance on course exams and external assessments.
For the first-semester course, we found that a 10% increase in Mastering Physics homework grades is linked to a 4% increase in exam scores. Evidence also showed that a 10% increase in Mastering Physics homework grades is linked to a 2% increase in FCI (Force Concept Inventory) assessment gains.
We continued our research by following students enrolled in the second-semester physics course. We found that a 10% increase in Mastering Physics homework grades is linked to a 4% increase in exam scores. In addition, evidence showed that a 10% increase in Mastering Physics homework grades is linked to a 3% increase in BEMA (Brief Electricity and Magnetism Assessment) post-test scores.
Our researchers noted that instructors at Penn State University (PSU) used Mastering Physics homework in a way that enabled these results. These instructors made Mastering Physics homework part of the course, using strategies that include encouraging the use of hints and feedback, emphasizing Mastering homework as practice, making homework 10% of the final course grade, and establishing a threshold allowing certain homework grades to be “bumped up” to 100%. On average, the more students used Mastering Physics homework to practice and learn, the better they performed on exams.
To summarize, students can perform better on course exams and achieve higher FCI gains and BEMA post-test scores when instructors emphasize the importance of Mastering Physics homework and provide incentives for completing homework.
Explore our in-depth research report to learn more about the impact of Mastering Physics in physics courses.
Check out this educator study from a specific instructor at Georgia Southern University who realized similar outcomes using Mastering Physics homework.