Increasing homework completion and accuracy among mathematics students using the Jars Game.
Hargis, Debra Zibreg
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SubjectHomework.; Games in mathematics education.; Mathematics -- Study and teaching (Elementary) -- Activity programs.; Education -- Activity programs.
Homework is a teaching strategy used in mathematics to promote student mastery of new material through practice. In addition, homework completion and accuracy has a positive effect on academic achievement (Madaus, Kehle, Madaus, & Bray, 2003). Unfortunately, the literature also suggests that many students fail to complete homework and many others fail to do so at appropriate levels of success. As such, classroom teachers are in need of effective, efficient, and socially acceptable interventions that can improve the homework-related performance of all their students. The present study examined the effects of the jars intervention, a combination of interdependent and dependent group contingencies with randomized behaviors, criteria, and rewards, on the homework completion and accuracy of an 8th grade math class. The jars game produced immediately and educationally important improvements in all students’ completion and accuracy rates and replicated these effects across subsequent experimental phases. Teachers and pupils rated intervention goals, procedures, and outcomes quite favorably. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.