Homework often not top priority for stressed students

Oct. 7, 2013

April Wefler
awefler@uccs.edu

Trying to balance studying, writing three essays, reading, working a couple of jobs, sleep and free time so I don’t go crazy in a single week is difficult.

From the first day of school, students are led to believe homework helps them retain information learned in class.

While I can appreciate the value of homework in certain classes – especially when the homework is interesting – it can get to be too much.

Often, homework doesn’t seem effective in retaining information or promoting learning outside of the classroom.

Surprisingly, only 46 percent of people polled on debate.org voted homework should be eliminated compared to 54 percent that voted it shouldn’t.

Most of the research done on homework effectiveness seems to be primarily about high school students and younger, though. Why does more research not look at college students?

We get copious amounts of homework – more often than in high school – and depending on where you went to high school, it tends to be graded more strictly. In addition to the homework, we have jobs we need to do to pay rent.

Many college assignments are semester-long. However, there are also nightly assignments that tend to require more thought and work than high school assignments.

Professors in college also don’t seem to check with one another on the homework they assign like high school teachers supposedly do. When we graduate, we won’t have to balance school and work.

However, we haven’t graduated. We work sometimes 30-plus hours. We want to do well in our classes so we can graduate, but we also have to do our jobs so we can pay the bills.

Jobs pay. School doesn’t. Homework is used for grades, which are used for graduation, which gives you a degree that might or might not prove useful in the future.

There should be less homework. We are adults working to pay for rent, tuition and those expensive textbooks, not high school students living at home with our parents who pay all of our expenses.

Our professors were students once.  More than likely, they remember trying to meet the homework deadline while balancing everything else in their lives.

Yet, if we don’t get our homework done, professors punish our grades. By doing so, they indicate their class is more important than any job you might have and even though you don’t get paid, homework should be your priority, not your job.

Most often, the people promoting homework aren’t the ones frantically writing one paper while trying to form ideas for two more.

If a professor goes as far as to say that they hate writing, as I was once told, why require students to write papers? It seems a bit hypocritical.

We are the ones who have to do that nightly homework while balancing all of the other duties that life throws to us. In turn, this gives the professors homework when they have to grade the papers and assignments. Even with good time management, it’s difficult.

Learning without homework is possible. In fact, perhaps there would be more learning without.