I am currently teaching the workshop for a class on chaos and fractals in a computer lab. The class is predominantly first year, first semester university students.
Worksheets have been developed for the students to use to encourage them to engage with the material in a way that isn't feasible on paper (e.g. bifurcation diagram). This requires them using provided Matlab scripts and modifying them for the different questions on the worksheet. In a class survey, all students said that they were familiar with the usage of Matlab.
The approach I am taking for teaching this class is to remind the students where the material can be downloaded from on the class website, before individually engaging with each student to ensure that they are understanding the topic at hand. This approach is significantly better for this class, as I have been allocated 2 hours with a 22 student class.
In the first two classes, some students have really engaged and are using the worksheet questions to understand what is actually going on with the underlying theory, what the mathematical terms used in class actually look like on a graph, etc. Meanwhile, other students simply work through the worksheet as quickly as possible and don't seem to really be understanding, despite the instructions on the worksheet stating that the worksheet should be worked through slowly to help the understanding of the topics.
What is the best technique for making the students who are working through the worksheet quickly change their approach to help their understanding?
The worksheet for this week focused on identifing the relationship between the time-series plot $(n,x_n)$ and cobweb plot for the Logistic map. The students who engaged with the worksheet were able to identify the progression of the sequence between the two graphs and the relationship between them. The students who did not engage completed through the worksheet very quickly be generating the necessary graphs for the relevant questions. When I asked them to explain the relationship, they were unable.