Incrementally Randomised vs. Non-Restricted Homework Tasks
Even before the global pandemic, hybrid and online learning were becoming more routine worldwide. Recent events have only accelerated that trend. Normalization of CALL (Bax, 2003; Chambers & Bax, 2006) was even the focus of the 2012 conference. CALL affords various capabilities that a traditional, unenhanced classroom does not. Among the many possibilities, notable examples include unlimited drills, instantaneous feedback, personalized learning pathways, spaced repetition, electronic glosses, multimedia presentation, and speech to text analysis (Arnold & Ducate, 2019). One comparatively mundane and often overlooked capability is functionality that allows for easy regulation of assignment deadlines and submissions. Students are frequently told that regular, short increments of frequent practice are preferable to longer study sessions that occur less frequently (Skenes et al., 2020). Such learning patterns may be easy to follow in theory, but in practice, it can be difficult for learners to routinely settle in and focus for short increments of time and for teachers to monitor. Using the Moodle LMS, the presenters arranged online homework assignments that were automatically made available each fortnight for a two-week period before becoming inaccessible. One goal was to facilitate more regular completion of assignments as opposed to students completing assignments in a mad rush at the end. A second goal was to reduce cheating by necessitating incremental completion via regular deadlines and randomizing assignments. Initial results show that the time-restricted students engaged with tasks regularly throughout the semester while the majority of unrestricted students had higher engagement towards the very end of the semester. While both groups improved their scores, there were no significant differences between the groups. Presenters will discuss the results in further detail.