The effect of web-based homework on test performance in large enrollment introductory physics courses
Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching, 21(3), 229-251
This study compares the effect of web-based homework (WBH) and paper-and-pencil homework (PPH) on student achievement as measured by exam performance. Various offerings of two large introductory physics sequences were examined over a three-year period, with some courses taught with PPH and some with WBH. We found that WBH offerings led to higher overall exam performance; the mean difference between WBH and PPH courses was about one-third of a typical exam standard deviation. In one WBH-PPH comparison, where there were matched final exams, the difference in exam performance was statistically significant. In addition, significant cost savings were realized in moving from PPH to WBH. Several mechanisms to explain the differential performance in favor of WBH are proposed.