Understanding English Homework from High School Students’ Perspectives

Laura Allen, Nicole Pilotte, Robin Leavitt, Leah A. Nillas

Research output: Faculty Advisor of Undergraduate Research


Current research on homework is missing the student perspective. This study aims to understand high school students’ perceptions of English homework and how we as teachers can promote students’ understanding and completion of homework. We surveyed fifty students, from two Midwestern high schools, to determine students’ feelings about homework, their motivation for completing assignments, and their preferences in homework design and assessment. Results suggest that students have negative associations with homework, despite thinking it is helpful and reinforces what is learned in class. In addition, grades are students’ primary motivation for completing homework, and time constraints due to extracurricular activities and other demanding classes is their primary reason for not completing their English homework. These findings suggest that students have the most positive experiences with English homework when they have adequate time to complete it, they receive formal feedback rather than completion points, assignments have a clear purpose that assists in students’ understanding of class material, and their preferences are acknowledged and taken into consideration when designing assignments.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - Apr 2009


  • homework
  • English language arts
  • students' perceptions


  • Education
  • Secondary Education and Teaching

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