Do I need to assign homework?
Yes, moreover we recommend assigning it daily even if you don’t collect it. More commonly we collect it once a week, otherwise it can be a big hassle.
Should homeworks be graded?
Graded homework can be good feedback to the students. However, you need to make sure you manage your time well, keep in mind your total workload per 3 unit class should only be about 10 hours per week (including your 3 hours worth of teaching, lesson plans, etc.). Depending on time constraints and your personal preference you have a few different options for grading.
1. Collect weekly homework, count all the problems-give 70% for attempting all problems, and just grade one full problem for 30%. For one class of 40 people this should take about 2 hours each week. (assuming homework neatness, explained below)
2. Collect weekly homework, organize in alphabetical order (to make entering easier) and give full credit for turning in something that looks like homework (i.e. just look at the first page). For one class of 40 people this should take about 10 minutes.
3. Give a homework quiz every Friday. Pick out a few questions to test the students on. Allow the students to use their homework to answer the quiz with the minimal amount of time to transfer their work to the quiz. Some GTA’s have had success with this method, but others have not.
Note, if you are spending 2 hours or more grading homework, then it should count for a larger part of their class grade.
What should you accept for homework?
You can and should require neatness from your students on their homework. This can significantly reduce the amount of time on your grading. Specify clearly what neatness means on your syllabus; i.e. problems completed in order, work done in pencil, answers boxed, papers stapled, and the spiral, ripped side of pages removed. You should consider scanning and posting an example on iLearn
of a good homework vs. a bad homework.