Questions tagged [homework]

For questions concerning homework, such as good problems for specific topics, amount and difficulty of homework, grading homework, cheating

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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. ...
57
votes
4answers
4k views

Is it worth grading calculus homework?

I am a young math educator. I've TAed four semesters of calculus for various instructors. Some instructors have required me to grade selected problems in homework sets. Another required me simply to ...
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 ...
29
votes
10answers
10k views

Is this homework problem on counting triangles within a 4x4 grid too vague?

My six-year old daughter was given this maths problem for her homework: Given a regular square grid of 4 × 4 dots, how many different triangles with one dot in the middle can you draw? We were ...
22
votes
8answers
692 views

Is it good to have solutions of homework published?

At a course at the university, the students have to do homeworks every week which will be graded and discussed in exercise groups. Is it a good idea to put "official" solutions of the homework on ...
19
votes
4answers
2k views

Students' Messy Sheets: The Big Problem of Exams and Homeworks

Students' messy exam and homework sheets (which are messy because of a bad handwriting or an irregular logical argument in proofs) cause many serious problems. e.g. Reading their arguments takes ...
19
votes
5answers
331 views

Is required reading of the text effective, and how can it be assessed?

This will likely depend on the class, of course. But I've asked calculus students in the past if (a) they regularly read the textbook and (b) whether this is helpful for them and (c) whether they like ...
19
votes
8answers
7k views

What's a good policy for accepting late homework?

There are a lot of ways of handling late homework submissions, of which I've only tried a few. The general policy I've settled on is something like the following. Homework must be submitted at the ...
19
votes
1answer
1k views

How much time to spend on a single question?

When I was self-studying as an undergraduate, I would spend up to two weeks working on a single problem or trying to understand a proof in Rudin's Principles of Mathematical Analysis. I realize now ...
18
votes
5answers
329 views

Can homework play a substantial role in the assessment of understanding in university math?

Ideally, I'd like my students' grades to be based on more than just exams, because I think that certain tasks, such as writing proofs, aren't best performed in a test environment. Using homework for ...
17
votes
3answers
2k views

“But I copied that from a book-reference you gave! How can that be wrong?”, or how can you grade homework which is solved poorly in some book?

Sometimes when assigning homework, it is possible that the homework can be found in some books or lecture notes, sometimes even referenced by yourself. As long as the proofs and arguments there are ...
17
votes
7answers
683 views

How to give homework for integration techniques?

When I was a freshman in Mathematics we learned the usual integration techniques (lots of standard integrals, integration by parts, substitution, partial fractions,…). As homework we simple got a ...
17
votes
3answers
848 views

What are the minimum criteria when checking homework for completion only?

I know that some instructors collect homework and "grade that on the basis of completion" (e.g., item #2 on this answer). In fact, I tried this myself for several years, based on advice from my mentor ...
16
votes
7answers
3k views

Motivating students to take homework seriously without grades

Next semester I'm teaching a course where I want to grade a significant chunk of the homework for completeness without checking whether the answers are right, and separately post the answers and ...
16
votes
5answers
2k views

Overload of Calculus homework assignments

I am a new calculus teacher in a high school for gifted students. I am the youngest teacher, I am not in my home country, and this country particularly values age and experience, so I have little room ...
16
votes
4answers
553 views

Is extra credit appropriate?

It is very tempting to assign extra credit problems that are (a) substantially more difficult than others on the problem set, (b) ask for the history of something we discussed in class, or (c) are ...
16
votes
4answers
452 views

Making solutions to all problems freely available

I teach at a community college, almost all physics but also a math course now and then. My current practice is that I assign homework worth a very small number of points (1 point per problem, as ...
14
votes
4answers
382 views

When Euclid was used as a textbook, what exercises did students do?

Until fairly recently, it was common for students in school to learn Euclidean geometry from a translation of Euclid. I get the impression that ca. 1700 this would have been in college and only for a ...
14
votes
2answers
668 views

How is calculus possible in a small number of very long class periods?

This summer, I am teaching 8-week calculus courses that meet a total of 16 times in 210 minute class periods. This sounds insane to me since Return of the King is only 201 minutes long, but it is the ...
14
votes
3answers
318 views

Research/Anecdotes supporting WebWork, MyMathLab and other computerized, immediate feedback HW

When I was a student in college (very recently), my college had implemented a program called WebWork to give immediate feedback on homework problems. Other systems like MyMathLab exist as well. ...
13
votes
3answers
910 views

What are the pros and cons of having students choose which HW problems are looked at?

I am considering a new HW policy that I haven't seen elsewhere. Each week the student must turn in $n$ problems, of her choosing. There will be no HW score beyond documenting whether the student is ...
13
votes
3answers
390 views

Worksheet: Homology in Intro Lin Al

I am about to start grad school and I am trying to think seriously about teaching [you know, before I get swamped with my own coursework]. I wrote a hypothetical worksheet for an introductory linear ...
13
votes
3answers
264 views

How to keep track of your old exercises in a heavy proof based course?

In a typical course (proof-based, for the context of this question) I have about 50 exercises that I might want to use when I teach the course again. Each exercise might be used in the same way as ...
13
votes
3answers
234 views

Reusing homework exercises from previous terms

I am teaching a course for sophomore-level math majors this quarter, and next quarter, I'll be teaching the same thing. I haven't been in this situation before, and I'm wondering to what degree I can ...
13
votes
2answers
825 views

online homework vs paper homework

Some professors assign online homework in lower level courses, such as through services like WeBWorK or WebAssign. Online homework has some clear advantages for instructors. However, in my experience, ...
13
votes
3answers
176 views

How to effectively run large exercise groups?

The Question Quite often one is faced with the task of running a large exercise group (think 40+ students in the room). What are some strategies to make the most of the (limited) time for the students?...
13
votes
1answer
362 views

How to deal with students copying?

In university courses with compulsory homework, I quite often find students copying their work from others. Now, you can simply ignore this since they are responsible for their learning. If not, ...
12
votes
4answers
484 views

Is it morally acceptable to complete math homework with a program oneself has written?

I've been trying to introduce my younger sister to programming, and one of the things I said was basically that once you know how to program, you can have a computer solve equations for you as long as ...
12
votes
4answers
324 views

Collaboration on math homework assignments?

There is considerable evidence that pair programming, when executed properly, both increases the accuracy of the code produced and enhances the learning of both participants. I wonder if anyone has ...
12
votes
2answers
224 views

Assigning students to write solution sets

Next year, I will be teaching a very challenging second year "multivariable calculus and calculus on manifolds" course, and will assign a large number of difficult problem sets. I am thinking of ...
12
votes
2answers
178 views

Benefits of students grading each other's (or their own) homework or quizzes?

I was wondering if there is any benefit to having undergraduate students swap homework and quizzes and grading them, with solutions that I provide. I was thinking it might be helpful for them to ...
12
votes
3answers
233 views

Quizzes (with questions known in advance) instead of homework in a graduate mathematics class. Good Idea or Bad Idea? Pros and Cons?

I'm teaching a graduate course in mathematics next semester. I'm planning to have a midterm and a final exam. But I'm thinking about having weekly (or once-every-two-weeks) in-class quizzes instead of ...
11
votes
4answers
456 views

Should homework be graded in an undergraduate math course?

It seems like the internet has made it very difficult to prevent cheating -- simply looking up the solutions to textbook problems -- on undergraduate math homework. So there is a danger that grading ...
11
votes
1answer
305 views

How cheating on homework affects student questions

I am teaching Calculus 2 and 3 this semester from a common text, and a significant number of my students are handing in perfect homework assignments that are clearly copied from Chegg, et al. As ...
11
votes
2answers
647 views

Middle / High School Math Teachers and LaTeX

All of the middle and high school math educators I´ve encountered choose not to use LaTeX in preparing their documents or presentations. I would assume that most of them had to use the program in the ...
10
votes
7answers
2k views

Do you have an efficient way to view student responses to remote assignments allowing them to type math symbols and steps? (Middle + High school)

Asking for a friend, this seems generally useful given #distanceLearning right now. Below is her message in a quote block followed by my response. I am using Google Classroom, G-sheets, G-Docs, G-...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Advantages on repeating question in student's answer

I see a lot of students who repeat the whole question (i.e., before starting with anything which has some content, they write down all assumptions, claims, etc.) in their answers in homework or exams. ...
10
votes
4answers
267 views

Problems sets for instruction

What resources are available for any grade level K- 12 that are aligned with the Common Core Mathematics Standards and Mathematical Practices that have sets of problems or problem banks that can be ...
10
votes
4answers
379 views

Effective Method for Reviewing Homework in Class

I teach algebra at a community college. I assign homework which counts for 2 points. After going over the HW, I give the students a quiz (worth 20 points) with problems similar to the HW. I spend ...
9
votes
2answers
161 views

Generating system of equations with unique solutions

I have a similar problem addressed in System of Equations Generator. What I need is an automatic way of generating a system of equations with unique solutions, but the equations are not exclusively ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

How does a take-home exam differ from a homework assignment?

I've taught several upper-level courses recently, and have considered giving take-home exams to reduce the time pressure in the classroom. However, their homework already consists of proving various ...
8
votes
2answers
492 views

What's the point of exercises without answers?

What is the point of exercises for which answers aren't provided? (That is to say, what is the pedagogical justification for such exercises? - Edit by someone other than original poster.) Commentary ...
8
votes
4answers
273 views

Is it convenient to classify problem by level of difficulty?

When leaving homework to students, should we state that there is an excercise with a special level of difficulty? I have seen this done in a lot of physics books, and some books on mathematics have ...
8
votes
1answer
105 views

Grading in a way that lets students have a good and formative experience

This fall, I'll be a reader (i.e. homework grader) for the first time, and the course is a second-level linear algebra course, which is likely the first proof-based course most of the students will ...
7
votes
3answers
332 views

Is it appropriate to assign an extra credit homework question on the “next” session?

I am a new teacher teaching mathematics (College Algebra, Calculus, etc.) in a college. My wife has made an interesting suggestion that I would like to have a discussion here: Is it appropriate to ...
7
votes
2answers
239 views

Ethics of looking at other proofs before submitting work

I am in my third year of undergraduate math, and now that classes are becoming more proof-based, many of my homework questions are proofs of relatively basic concepts that can be found with a quick ...
7
votes
1answer
315 views

Asking for Final Drafts of Homework

I'm planning to ask my students (first-year college calculus) to turn in some problems in a "final draft" form: rewritten from scratch, in linear order, with exactly the necessary steps included. I ...
7
votes
1answer
171 views

Where can I find example of Lagrange multipliers and constrained optimization?

I want give some extra homework about Lagrange multipliers and constrained optimization. I am interested in examples that are complex (for example, those having more than two variables and more than ...
7
votes
1answer
365 views

Is there a repository with K-12 math exercises and problems written in LaTeX (English or Spanish)?

I've been searching for a repository or a database with math problems (K-12 levels) written in LaTeX, but with no luck. Neither in Spanish (my student's language) ...
7
votes
0answers
216 views

Is WebAssign ADA compliant?

I hope this is a good place to ask about this. My institution uses WebAssign for homework in many classes. A concern has come up about being compliant with ADA. From a page on the WebAssign site, it ...