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Busy Work Survey
How do we determine if something is busy work or not? Answer these questions about the assignment. None of these questions in and of themselves determines if something is busy work. A score higher than 4 may be an indicator that the assignment is busywork.
Without threat of points or detention would students do it?
1 point
Can students collaborate?
1 point
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Will it be painfully boring to grade?
1 point
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Will a chunk of students just refuse to do it, even when losing points?
1 point
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If a student already knows the material, do they still need to be compliant and do the task?
If the assignment has choices, students may be able to challenge themselves with something else to do. (If a student already knows the material, is there an alternative assignment option?)
1 point
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Are students creatively thinking?
If all students submit the same thing, that is not creative thinking
1 point
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Outside of a school assignment, would anyone do this to sharpen this skill?
1 point
Is this DOK 1?
1 point
Is the amount of learning proportionate with the amount of time spent?
A project may take significant time but have small learning outcomes. Such as a solar system poster. Only learn the 8 planets but spent a long time cutting out planets and gluing.
1 point
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Might this kill student enthusiasm for the topic?
1 point
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Is additional practice the same steps?
If a task is too easy, you can get it perfect, and then it's the same every time. And then you learn nothing further.
1 point
Is this photocopied or a set of problems from the book?
1 point
Are you actually going to spend time grading this?
e.g. glance to see that it's completed or read each Ss response
1 point
Will students receive meaningful feedback on this?
1 point
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If you ask them, will students say this is busy work?
5 points
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