Publication Date

2017

Abstract

According to Parkinson’s law, individuals tend to spend all the time they have available to complete a task without producing better results. The purpose of this study was to test Parkinson’s law in McGraw assignments in a university course. One group of students had one week to complete their assignments, while another group of students had two weeks to do so. Students took four types of assignments (quizzes, videos, applications, labs) on a weekly basis for 15 weeks. The results supported Parkinson’s law when assignments were auto-graded (quizzes), or manually graded (videos, applications) by different instructors in the two groups. When assignments (labs) were graded by the same instructor in both groups and students had two weeks to complete them, grades tended to be lower, t(104) = 1.929, p = .057, with M (SD) = 91.26 (10.01) for one week, and M (SD) = 87.17 (11.24) for two weeks. These results indicate that providing additional time to students to complete their assignments does not bring better results.

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