Is homework absolutely necessary? What kinds of homework assignments produce the best results? Do you have time to correct homework the students write out on paper and hand in to you for correction? Do you assign homework from the web site so you don’t have to personally correct much or anything? (Ooh!) How can you make sure students are not having someone else more knowlegable do their online assignments? Do you assign compositions? At what point in the term? How many drafts? Do you give the students prompts for their compositions? Do they follow them? Do you suspect that some students may write their compositions in English and run them through Google Translate? Do you grade based on points or on results? Have you heard students asking “Professor, do we get points for this?” and then mumbling to a classmate, “If we don’t get points I’m not doing it.” Do you detest the word ‘points’ as much as I do? A good book to read on the topic of points is Punishment by Rewards by Alfie Kohn.

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