Requesting more hints is related to higher exam scores
Mastering Physics offers various online tools to support learning, including hints that are part of Mastering Physics homework.
When completing Mastering Physics homework, students can ask for hints. Hints give students 24/7 access to the type of support they might receive during an office-hours visit with an instructor. Hints help them solve a problem and learn from their mistakes without being given the answer, allow for repetition and practice, and include reviews of fundamental concepts and definitions of particular terms.
We looked at students who asked for hints without risk of penalty points in the second course of a two-semester intro physics sequence where content was more difficult than the first course and the impact of hints stronger. We found that students in the second course who accessed hints tended to earn higher exam scores than students who did not.
Specifically, our research showed that requesting an additional 50 hints on homework assignments is associated with an increase in average exam scores of 2 percentage points. Also, requesting an additional 50 hints on homework assignments is associated with an increase in students’ BEMA (Brief Electricity and Magnetism Assessment) post-test scores of 3 percentage points.
What do these higher exam scores mean? When completing Mastering Physics homework, students should be encouraged to ask for hints without any consequences.
Explore our in-depth research report to learn more about the impact of Mastering Physics in physics courses.
Check out this educator study from a specific instructor at Georgia Southern University who realized similar outcomes using Mastering Physics homework.