Author Biography

Mr. Gearóid Keane completed this practitioner research study as a Professional Master of Education student at the National University of Ireland Galway. Gearóid graduated in 2018 and is currently teaching at Enable Ireland Sandymount School for Special Education.

Dr. Manuela Heinz is a Lecturer and the Director of the Professional Master of Education at the National University of Ireland Galway. She has a strong interest in collaborative educational action research and supported Gearóid with the development and implementation of this study as his research supervisor.


This paper describes a mixed methods practitioner research study that aimed to enhance student engagement with homework. Based on a comprehensive literature review and data from a pre-study questionnaire, a differentiated homework strategy was designed by the teacher researcher. Students were assigned homework once a week to allow them to balance homework requirements more successfully with out-of-school activities. They were given a choice of three tasks each week, ranging from lower to higher difficulty levels. Task difficulty levels were not stated, nor were tasks ordered by difficulty. Students’ attitudes towards homework improved over the course of the study and completion rates increased to nearly 100 per cent. Task choice and effort were recorded. The analysis paid special attention to similarities and differences in the impact of the strategy on students of different ability levels. Suggestions for further development of differentiated homework strategies and associated research are provided in the conclusion.