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For an undergraduate mathematics textbook, what are the pitfalls of inserting all of the exercises in the text? (As opposed to grouping every exercise at the end of the section).

IMO I feel it is better to insert exercises in the text because it breaks up the monotony of reading, and the problems enable the student to check their understanding before moving on, but since this fad has not caught on I was wondering what stops most professors from doing it.

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    $\begingroup$ You can mix and match. And some books have short collections of exercises per subsection, and a comprehensive one at the end of the section. $\endgroup$ – vonbrand Feb 3 '16 at 13:19
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    $\begingroup$ In the traditional lecture-based method of teaching, students are spoon-fed every topic from scratch in lecture. This sends them the message that they don't need to read the book, and for that reason very few of them do. Therefore the placement of the problems makes no difference to them except as a matter of convenience for locating a problem that has been assigned. $\endgroup$ – Ben Crowell Feb 3 '16 at 15:59
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As a starting answer, my understanding is that students generally read maths texts very poorly, often looking only at the worked examples and the sets of exercises (plus answers). Also, some lecturers like to set homework directly from sets of exercises.

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    $\begingroup$ How is this describing a pitfall? $\endgroup$ – Brandon Thomas Van Over Feb 3 '16 at 7:48
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    $\begingroup$ @ElChapo I guess I'm answering 'what stops professors from doing it'. It depends on what you think the purpose of the exercises is. The argument 'problems enable the student to check their understanding before moving on', although a sensible one, doesn't work so well if the text is not being read through that way. Personally, I have now written some notes with exercises within the text, but they take a bit of a different form to the standard end-of-chapter lists. $\endgroup$ – Jessica B Feb 3 '16 at 8:37

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