Thursday, September 7, 2017

Homework = home + work

Attitude toward homework is one of the big differences between high school and college.

  • In high school, you often had in-class time to do homework; in college that's almost never the case. (Maybe your high school teachers didn't think you would actually do the work. Maybe your high school teacher had trouble thinking up things to fill five hours a week)
  • In high school, you were rarely expected to do the reading before you got to class (and the teacher would probably tell you everything that the reading said anyhow). In college, you are expected to read and understand today's assignment before you get here.
  • In high school, two hours of daily homework was considered a lot (an hour was more typical). In college, you should figure on two hours of homework for every hour you sit in class. (This means that a 15-credit load should generate about 30 hours of weekly homework, or about four hours and twenty minutes every day of the week including Saturday and Sunday.)
  • In high school, teachers would refrain from assigning homework on the weekend of the big game. If your town was religious, you might not have gotten homework on Wednesday because everyone was supposed to be in church. College instructors do not often give homework "vacations" like that.

On the bright side

  • High school homework often was mindless worksheets, distributed in class for you to fill in that night. College homework tends to be more meaningful and assigned far in advance. In most courses, you can see the whole list of readings on the first day you attend.