Many schools face the ongoing challenge of effective homework management, a recurring issue which led Overnet Data to develop Edulink Homework, a free Moodle block that helps make homework more manageable. The plug-in offers benefits not only for teachers and pupils but also for the parents and the school as a whole. Hartshill School is one example of a school looking for a homework management solution.

Hartshill School is a co-educational secondary school catering for students from the age of 11 through to age 16. The school is an academy and is part of the Midland Academies Trust, which acts as the admissions authority. The school has 1,050 pupils on roll for 2015-2016.

Alan Wheelhouse, Senior Assistant Principal explains how homework has been managed:

“Our school currently uses physical homework planners, where students write down a record of their homework, a method commonly used in secondary schools. It’s a simple solution, but one that’s fraught with common issues including; homework details not being written down in sufficient detail, which impacts on the quality of the homework submitted. We also find that a lack of clear homework objectives reduces the likelihood of parents getting involved.”

Alan outlines what Hartshill School were looking for to be able to manage their homework more effectively:

“Our school was looking for a solution to help manage the consistent setting and marking of homework by teachers, which ensured that all students had access to a clear homework brief and any necessary supporting resources. We also wanted to be able to notify parents when homework has been set, completed and submitted as well as allowing them to be able to view meaningful feedback on their child’s homework.”

Whilst at BETT, the school looked at different options for managing school homework but were looking for a solution that would work with their existing Moodle platform. This led them to Overnet Data and Edulink Homework, a block that has been developed to work with Moodle. Hartshill School were keen to evaluate the Moodle block:

“We wanted to be able to add functionality to Moodle with an existing trusted partner who already manage our SIMS integration using Edulink for Moodle.”

With SIMS integration through Edulink for Moodle, Hartshill School benefited from the automatic provisioning of student, teacher and classes within the Edulink Homework, saving valuable time setting up and maintaining the system.

What were the main benefits experienced by Hartshill School when evaluating Edulink Homework?

“Edulink homework is simple to use and provides access to all the homework information for pupils and teachers to view, which helps to make homework a more meaningful part of teaching and learning. When used with Edulink Communicator, homework can be flagged up to parents, allowing them to get involved and increase parental engagement. In addition, the school also benefits from having a record of homework setting and feedback as required by OFSTED.”

Key benefits of adopting Edulink Homework identified through the case study:

  • Simplifies the way teachers set, view and mark their student’s homework
  • With all homework deadlines, details and supporting documents online for pupils to view, there’ll be no more missed or forgotten homework
  • For users with an Overnet Data subscription which includes Edulink Communicator, there is an option to notify parents with an email update when new homework is posted
  • Provides evidence of homework setting and feedback as detailed in the OFSTED framework

Edulink’s Homework block for Moodle is available as a free plugin which you can download here.

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