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Since moving to FrogLearn in November 2014, we have set all homework electronically, either via a homework site or 'Quick Assignment'. The original motivation for this was to develop a whole school strategy for using the VLE to support teaching and learning and improve the quality of homework being set.
Gareth Gay, Glenthorne High School
Setting homework in this way has created many positives:
- homework is planned and prepared in advance of the lesson
- teachers can give very specific details about the type of work they are expecting from the pupils and ensure that all groups of pupils receive the appropriate level of challenge
- it is much easier to distribute resources with the tasks, whether they may be documents, images, audio files, web links, etc.
- homework sites can be fully integrated into schemes of work and developed each year
- to identify areas of best practice and areas for development, subject leaders can use 'Assignment Monitor' to view what homework is being set across their department.
As a Lead Practitioner for the development of New Technologies, I am also in charge of monitoring the quality of homework across the whole school. FrogLearn has helped me in two ways to do this. Firstly, I can monitor the frequency of homework being set by comparing the work set via Frog to the whole school homework timetable. I do this by exporting the data in 'Assignment Monitor' as a CSV file and then importing it into an Excel spreadsheet template. This allows me to see how much homework any particular department has set, against what is planned on the homework timetable.
Frog's Assignment Monitor, with the export to CSV option
"I can see what the teachers have set"
The second way that Frog allows me to monitor the setting of homework is by allowing me to follow the complete homework cycle i.e. to see what the teachers have set and then compare it to what the pupils have handed in.
'Assignment Monitor' allows me to find any task set in the school and open the assignment. I then look at the work that a sample group of pupils has produced and identify areas of best practice and areas where the task could be improved. Areas for improvement may include suggesting ideas about how staff might use other features within FrogLearn to develop the task even further. For example, there may be opportunities for the pupils to collaborate with each other on a task or contribute to a class discussion using a forum widget.
Setting homework on Frog has now become routine at Glenthorne and staff, pupils and parents are very supportive of the process.