Assessment of the effect of online homework on achievement in chemistry
The purpose of the present study was to analyze the relationship between the OWL homework and achievement, to analyze the relationship between the attitudes towards OWL and achievement, and to find out the extent of popularity of OWL among students. Archival data on 115 students enrolled in the fall 1998 semester, 82 students enrolled in the fall 2000 semester, and 73 students enrolled in the fall 2001 semester were used in this study. In addition, 217 students enrolled in the fall 2002 semester participated in the study by completing an attitudinal survey that was developed by the researcher. The first finding was that there was no statistically significant difference between the ACS final exam scores of students who used OWL for homework and the ACS final exam scores of those who did written homework. This finding supported earlier reports suggesting that online homework did not do harm to student learning. The second finding was that a significant correlation existed between scores on the OWL homework and the ACS final exam scores suggesting that online homework, besides other factors, played a positive role in student learning. The third finding was that there was no statistically significant correlation between the attitude towards OWL and the scores on the ACS final exam. This finding did not support the previous reports that related attitudes to achievement in chemistry. The attitude towards OWL, however, did positively correlate with the achievement scores on OWL making this finding, contrary to the one before it, supportive of the previous reports relating attitudes to achievement in chemistry. Finally, concerning the popularity of OWL among students, the results of the attitudinal survey showed that OWL was a popular online homework system in spite of some problems that students reported they faced while using it.