Homework in FIRST LEGO League
Whether or not you assign homework is up to you, but majority of teams in FIRST LEGO League do ask students to spend some time outside of team meeetings to do research, prepare of a meeting or event, practice for a competition, etc.
The following discussion has ideas posted on the Facebook Group FLL: Share & Learn . Contibutions by Asha Seshan, Sarah Cerra, Charles Angel, Faith Bongiorno, Joseph Gillen, Loridee Wetzel, and Laura Adamonis.
Project as homework
Many teams have students work on majority of their project at home outside of meeting times. The reason is simply that looking up resources, reading and writing up ideas takes time. If students can spend 1-2 hours working independtly at home, you don’t need to spend that time during the meeting. You also don’t need to have 10 computers in your meeting space. This way, the students update the rest of the team on their findings. The team still makes all decisions together.
Practicing programming as homework
It can sometimes be a lot of work to learn programming and work on FIRST LEGO League at the same time if you have limited meeting time. Assigning small programming assignments that helps them practice what they learnt in a meeting might be useful.
Some students might be against the notion of homework. Some coaches don’t call it homework as a result.
What do you do when they don’t complete the homework or the quality is very poor?
If the student did not complete the homework at home, they will have to compete it during the meeting time instead of working on whatever it is the rest of the team moves on to. If the quality is poor, it is worth having a meeting and explaining the importance of doing a good job and being a team player.