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Does Starting Deep Learning Homework Earlier Improve Grades?

Edward RaffCynthia Matuszek
Sep 2023
Intuitively, students who start a homework assignment earlier and spend more time on it should receive better grades on the assignment. However, existing literature on the impact of time spent on homework is not clear-cut and comes mostly from K-12 education. It is not clear that these prior studies can inform coursework in deep learning due to differences in demographics, as well as the computational time needed for assignments to be completed. We study this problem in a post-hoc study of three semesters of a deep learning course at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), and develop a hierarchical Bayesian model to help make principled conclusions about the impact on student success given an approximate measure of the total time spent on the homework, and how early they submitted the assignment. Our results show that both submitting early and spending more time positively relate with final grade. Surprisingly, the value of an additional day of work is apparently equal across students, even when some require less total time to complete an assignment.
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