Homework assistance on the internet

Homework Online is an innovative and exiting new offer to children and young people in Denmark. Three times a week, Sunday evening being one of them – six volunteer homework assistants (mostly university students) are ready at their computers looking forward to receiving requests. More than 800 pupils have used the online offer, which started in January 2010. Several of them have come back a number of times.

Basically there are three components that have to function and interact in homework assistance online in order for it to be successful. First and foremost the IT element must be working smoothly; secondly the homework assistants must be able to meet the needs of the pupils; finally the number of homework assistants on duty must correspond to the number of pupils who ask for assistance. Otherwise pupils will be queuing for too long. Until now it has been possible to combine all elements in a fruitful way, and in the remaining project period much effort will be used to boost the number of users. That is why an intensive marketing campaign has taken off this autumn. Various primary and lower secondary schools are visited, and the project managers introduce the homework site and its possibilities to the pupils. As part of the presentation the pupils watch a short film, where the young rapper Chadi Alderbas shows how to use the site. Also You Tube and Face book are used in the marketing campaign.

Homework Online is a three-year development project financed by governmental funds. The Danish Agency for Libraries and Media together with the Ministries of Integration and Education are overall responsible for the project while the State and University Library carries out the project. The primary target group is young pupils from grade seven to ten, living in disadvantaged neighbourhoods. The project is running until the end of 2011. See a demonstration of Homework Online: http://www.lektier-online.dk

Ann Poulsen
Library Consultant

apo AT bibliotekogmedier.dk

Senior Advisor Agency for Culture and Palaces