restricted access Improving Homework Completion and Academic Performance: Lessons From Special Education

Homework problems among students with learning disabilities can be attributed to two primary causes: (a) students' characteristics (e.g., poor motivation, problems in listening comprehension, lack of organizational skills), and (b) teachers' deficits in making assignments (e.g., assigning work that is too difficult or time-consuming, failing to ensure that students record assignments properly or have necessary materials). The past decade has seen growing interest in homework intervention research, which has primarily addressed helping students develop homework completion skills. This article summarizes the results of these studies in general and special education classrooms and describes several strategies that appear to improve homework compliance—including reinforcements, graphing, cooperative study teams, homework planners, and parent involvement. Because there have been so few studies, suggestions are made for future research to fill in the large gaps in our knowledge base for effectively using homework to enhance students' academic achievement.