Questions tagged [course-design]

For questions about creating a new course or altering the format of an existing course.

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8
votes
7answers
1k views

Advice on teaching abstract algebra and logic to high-school students

NOTE: This question will soon be duplicated, as I didn't make clear that I was a high school sophmore in the beginning. At first I thought it didn't matter, and somewhat arrogant to mention, but in ...
1
vote
1answer
33 views

Setting up a new Ximera course with randomized values in problems

I'm working on converting a course to make it free to the students, and I'm considering using Ximera. What I haven't found online is documentation for/information on tips and best practices for ...
1
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0answers
70 views

Number theory in an introductory course on discrete dynamical systems

Benjamin Hutz, in Chapter 10 of his An Experimental Introduction to Number Theory, allows for the optional inclusion of discrete dynamical systems with a number-theoretic flavor in an undergraduate ...
11
votes
3answers
678 views

What topics could be covered in a course on fractals?

I'd like to propose a class on fractals to my department in the next few years. One issue is that there seems to be no consensus on what a fractal is (see the wikipedia talk page on fractals, for ...
17
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8answers
5k views

Prisoner's dilemma formulation for children

I am preparing an introductory course on Game Theory for children (between 10 and 17 years old). In the course description, I want to include a prisoner's dilemma in order to catch children's ...
26
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4answers
531 views

Alternatives to University Lectures: Non-lecture Mathematics Classes

I am looking for resources for designing undergraduate mathematics classes that are not lecture-based. (Bonus points if the design is for an introduction to proof course). For example, Robert ...
3
votes
1answer
432 views

How much literature research should one do when designing a course?

For each mathematical subject on the undergraduate level there are many textbooks, often with quite different approaches to the subject. Some are just concise and rigorous, some focus on examples, ...
3
votes
1answer
128 views

How to make maths explainer videos?

I am a maths teacher and I want to make maths explainer videos particularly like this guy is doing. In fact, in my research, I came to know that manim is the latest tool for creating maths animations ...
85
votes
13answers
9k views

How to assign homework when answers are freely available or attainable online?

I find that making homework meaningful is becoming increasingly challenging. Let us suppose that I am planning for next semester's first-semester or second-semester calculus course at my university. ...
17
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3answers
1k views

Computational topology for engineers

Increasingly, I see computational topology being applied to problems involving sensor networks, robotics, data analysis, signal processing and various other areas. The topics I mention are interesting ...
11
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1answer
255 views

What are some resources for “ungrading” in a math class?

Most of the stuff I'm finding online about ungrading are either general descriptions of its virtues, or personal accounts from instructors from subjects other than math. Does anyone know any resources ...
4
votes
0answers
120 views

How must the “ungrading” idea be adapted to work in a math class?

After seeing no direct responses to this question, I'll instead be more direct myself. Ungrading is a buzzword being tossed about for assessing students' progress without focusing on quantitative ...
2
votes
2answers
230 views

Good ideas on structuring a math class?

I have just started teaching mathematics up to secondary level. I don't have much idea as to how to handle the class. In order to make students learn well, how can we divide the time in order to put ...
20
votes
2answers
795 views

Impossibility of trisecting the angle, doubling the cube and alike, what are reasons for or against discussing them in a course on algebra?

When I taught courses on algebra giving a first exposition to Galois theory I usually included some discussion of classical results showing the impossibility of constructing certain points with ruler ...
27
votes
10answers
8k views

Should LaTeX be taught in high school?

This semester, I was forced to learn LaTeX for my Real Analysis class. The professor wanted all homework assignments to be typed in LaTeX in order to produce "high-quality" work. At first I was ...
27
votes
9answers
4k views

Teaching by Slides, Yes or No?

Mathematicians use (Powerpoint/Beamer) slides for their lectures. My question is about using slides for teaching math. There are several positive and negative arguments about teaching by slide show. e....
5
votes
1answer
101 views

Ideas and/or references for Projects for a Business Calculus course

I have undertaken the teaching a Business Calculus course for this semester (spring II). The various assesments for the students, include quizzes/hw/midterms/final exams, adjusted with suitable ...
6
votes
3answers
216 views

Make a matrix algebra course (1st university year) more “project-based”

Among other courses, I'm teaching a (basic) matrix algebra course for 1st year university students (they are studying Economics, and the cursus leads them to management, finance, or econometrics in ...
7
votes
7answers
2k views

Teaching Calculus I to engineers

I am in a research project where one of our jobs is improving the first year university experience for our students. One of the topics we are looking into is changing the way we teach our introductory ...
11
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8answers
3k views

Algorithmic thinking problems

In Norway we will have a new national mathematics curriculum for all ages including high school beginning august 2020. A fundamental change is the new focus on so called algorithmic thinking. In ...
20
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2answers
734 views

Emphasizing the discrete in early undergraduate education?

From time to time, I have come across course ideas emphasizing the discrete over the continuous, such as Peter Saveliev's Fantasy Math curriculum (update: see also his material on discrete calculus) ...
10
votes
2answers
273 views

How important is it to show students an application of the topics seen in an undergraduate course?

I am currently designing a proof-based Math course for my University. I already designed and ordered all of the theoretical content in the course and included some ad hoc exercises for practicing each ...
15
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6answers
955 views

Where can I find resources for creating a mathematics “bridge course”?

I originally asked this over at MathOverflow, but it was suggested I might also find some good answers over here. My university department is in the very early stages of developing a "bridge course" ...
33
votes
4answers
1k views

Are there any benefits to having an entire course's homework problems available from day one?

I am designing a course for the upcoming fall semester, and I am tossing around an idea in my head. While planning which topics to cover each week and how to set the pacing of the course, I figured I ...
5
votes
2answers
194 views

What are the benefits of an expertly curated learning pathway?

What are the benefits of an expertly curated learning pathway? Like that provided by a major publisher's textbook - CPM, a school district's mandated curriculum - IM's Open Up Resources or a ...
6
votes
4answers
393 views

Why do standard geometry textbooks not start with trigonometry?

Throughout my geometry course, I was given many theorems and postulates, which I was were expected to memorize and apply. At the time, I sorta went along with it, but I couldn’t help but wonder where ...
5
votes
1answer
540 views

Midterm in Mathematics Courses

Can someone point me to papers indicating whether or not a midterm is an important part of a course? I suspect I can find many 'experiential anecdotes' that midterms are good/bad/moot but I would ...
5
votes
4answers
376 views

Would teaching nonstandard calculus in an introduction calculus course make it easier to learn?

Nonstandard calculus is a reformulation of calculus that is based on infinitesimals instead of epsilon-delta definitions. Of course, people had tried to use infinitesimals in calculus before; in fact, ...
19
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11answers
1k views

How can I familiarize elementary school students with infinities larger than $\aleph_0$?

Cantor's discovery of the existence of more than one infinity was a revolutionary change in human knowledge. He defined the notion of counting by bijections and showed that one can use infinities as ...
1
vote
1answer
197 views

Evaluation and feedback using Optical Mark Recognition systems in secondary school

OMR in exit tickets I plan to use an OMR, Optical Mark Recognition systems at the end of (some of) my classes. I want to use the same OMR system for exit tickets scattered over the academic year (not ...
12
votes
4answers
393 views

How can I encourage my students to team work?

I have a motto, "My class is not an Olympic swimming pool! It is a museum full of the masterwork paintings! Relax and enjoy all of this mathematical beauty which I am drawing on the blackboard!" By ...
4
votes
1answer
172 views

Is it feasible to expose undergraduates to a “map”-centric point of view early on?

Question: Would it be feasible to teach undergraduate math students a "map"-centric view early on? If so, how early on? Now that I'm preparing for a phd program, I'm also reflecting on my ...
3
votes
2answers
183 views

Supplemental text for undergraduate real analysis

Context: I am an assistant professor at a small college in the US. Next semester I am teaching real analysis for the first time, and we are using Steven R. Lay's book. (It also happens to be the ...
4
votes
3answers
291 views

Teaching science and engineering students the field of inverse problems

There is a Mathematics Stack Exchange question on a good book on inverse problems for engineers. Here, I would like to ask for suggestions on how to approach teaching undergraduate upper-division ...
4
votes
2answers
120 views

Exposure to Algebra 2/Calculus Under Time Constraints

As part of a free summer enrichment program for highly-motivated high school students, I need to plan eight hour-long lessons for mini-courses titled as "Algebra 2" and "Calculus" separately. Despite ...
4
votes
3answers
268 views

What tools are available for creating visual aids?

I would like to create some visual aids for illustrating principles in statistics, similar to the kind of graphic found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linear_regression#/media/File:Anscombe%...
23
votes
8answers
2k views

“We already passed that course!” How to overcome this?

I've heard the phrase "we passed that course already!" too many times when asking for e.g. the derivative of a simple rational function or a simple integral, getting blank stares, and digging deeper. ...
13
votes
3answers
271 views

Using Several Textbooks in a Course

Sometimes a teacher prefers to use several textbooks in his/her courses because he/she thinks the arguments of each book is better in a part of course material or there is no comprehensive textbook in ...
2
votes
1answer
632 views

Using tensegrity structure to teach high school math?

I am exploring ideas to design a secondary-level-project-based-10-lessons-unit-learning-plan which can end with a creation from the students involving a tensegrity structure. such as or My general ...
17
votes
4answers
647 views

What reasons are there preventing me from using an old edition text?

Background: I'm a final-year math student applying for faculty jobs at small schools in the US. I'm currently designing a few courses, and this questions has been bothering me for some time now: Why ...
8
votes
2answers
264 views

What can I teach a talented student who is enthusiastic about math?

I have a very clever student in Grade 7. Due to carelessness and English (which is not his native language), he failed the placement test and can't learn Grade 8 math (algebra 1) in school. School ...
11
votes
3answers
477 views

How to teach a student algebra who misses too much previous knowledge?

I am now tutoring a student in Grade 9, who falls behind in math study. He lacks the basic understanding of operations and inverse operations, and have trouble dealing with negative numbers and ...
13
votes
7answers
700 views

Non-Mathematical Examples of Orders

Different properties of different types of orders including partial, total, scattered and well-orders are a part of any graduate/undergraduate set theory course. I am looking for interesting "non-...
4
votes
1answer
112 views

Is there a class curriculum that studies the work of a mathematician?

Are there classes dedicated to understanding the work of a particular mathematician? I have seen courses dedicated to a theorem (I saw for example one that sought to prove and understand the Atiyah-...
12
votes
1answer
216 views

How important is the act of writing his own script for the learning outcome?

There are several styles of delivering a lecture: The lecturer uses the blackboard and the students write their own lecture notes. The lecturer uses the blackboard and also provide a script so that ...
15
votes
6answers
589 views

Is it a good idea to have one or two or three classes on basic logic before teaching $\varepsilon$-$\delta$ in Calculus?

I am teaching Calculus I and will be teaching it again. To me, the $\varepsilon$-$\delta$ definition of limit is one of the key ideas of Calculus; learning calculus without learning $\varepsilon$-$\...
12
votes
2answers
188 views

Course-based undergraduate research experiences in math

"Course-based undergraduate research experiences" (CUREs, or CBEs) are being explored in various STEM fields, especially biology, chemistry, geology. Here is one geology link that gives a flavor: "...
19
votes
4answers
412 views

How to balance higher order thinking and drill/practice

Some place emphasis on higher order thinking skills at the cost of lower emphasis on drill/practice. Others disagree. Personally, I agree that higher order thinking skills are necessary for effective ...
11
votes
1answer
231 views

How to design exercise groups in very advanced course?

In very advanced courses, typically there are only a few students attending and sometimes they are not willing to put so much efford into the course to participate or to pass an exam. So I made the ...
0
votes
1answer
123 views

Using Substitution in place of the balance model

How does substitution work as an alternative to the balance model in introducing solving equations? My biggest worry is that, lacking a concrete representation, is too abstract for middle schoolers. ...