Homework has been in discussion for a while in my circles. Is it useful? Why do we assign it? Etc. I came across one strong reason why we should really stop grading homework and start grading other activities that demonstrate learning.
That reason? It is Chegg.com. I used to think Chegg was just a place from which to rent textbooks, but that is just not true. They also SELL the complete solutions to every textbook we use in my district.
That’s right. They sell the solutions manual. This list of MATH textbooks they have available is 75 pages long if you wanted to print it. I checked. I found our Algebra 2 book, the Trig/Precalc book, and the AP Calc book on the list.
Now don’t get me wrong, I do not think Chegg is doing anything illegal. Immoral perhaps, but not illegal. They are just selling something that some learners will use to cheat. That is not Chegg’s problem, it is the learner’s problem. Other learners would use it as a tool for learning. Don’t blame the tool, focus on the learner, AND focus on my policies that encourage cheating.
After all, why would I make a large percent of a learners grade something called “homework” when the reality is that category really could be called, “that stuff you copy out of the book but don’t really understand but still get full credit.”
Having a service like Chegg available just makes it easier to justify moving to SBG and away from traditional “homework” type assignments.
Thank you Chegg!