The effects of the Radical Raceway on homework completion and accuracy in a high-school social studies class.
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SubjectHomework -- Activity programs.; Education -- Study and teaching.; Social sciences -- Study and teaching (Secondary).
Homework is an educational strategy used to improve student understanding of content taught in class. It provides a means for students to further their knowledge through additional, independent practice. Many studies have shown that completing homework correctly has a positive effect on student learning. The problem is that large numbers of students in many classes are not doing their homework and many of those who do complete it incorrectly. The present study showed how the Radical Raceway a intervention package containing group contingencies, small competing teams, public posting, and mystery motivators, was used to improve the homework completion and accuracy rates for a 9th grade Global Studies classroom. The Radical Raceway produced immediate and sustained positive results that improved students’ social studies homework grades by two to three letter grades. Intervention effects were replicated across subsequent experimental phases and the teachers and pupils rated intervention goals, procedures, and outcomes quite favorably. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.