Hot answers tagged

31

It is easy to explain the most immediate disadvantage of allowing "aids" during exams: many students misjudge the situation, thinking that having books and/or papers means they can study less. In particular, they often misjudge information access time. But many students benefit from some form or degree of open-access exams, because they can relax a little ...


28

I disagree with one of the other answers when saying that "math is not about memory". Doing math is not only about memory, but remembering your definitions and theorems can be crucial to doing problems. The argument that a mathematician can just look of these things on books disregards the fact that when doing the problem, you need to collect all the aspects ...


18

I allow notes on tests, because math is less about memory than about understanding, and I don't want students to focus on the memory part. I don't allow notes on quizzes, because they are on just one problem type, and I want students to be ready to think it through. You may find this blog post helpful: http://exzuberant.blogspot.com/2012/07/monkey-and-...


15

My answer would be neither. A TI-89 is \$80, which is a lot of money for many families, and the functionality it provides beyond that of a \$5 calculator is hardly ever needed. I don't own a graphing calculator myself, so I can't see forcing my students to buy one. A tablet is even more money and even more overkill. If this is a public high school in the US,...


14

Many of the disadvantages of allowing aids can be, in principle, resolved by requiring that the only aids the students have are handwritten by themselves and setting a length limit. (I've seen somewhere between one index card [for non Americans: a piece of paper around 10 x 15 cm squared] and 4 pages of A4 [for Americans: 4 pages of letter paper].) ...


12

I'd like to expand on points that Thomas made. Learning math is like learning a language, and a certain amount of memorization (note: not necessarily drilling!) is a necessary component of that. To use a language, you need to have immediate mental access to the basic vocabulary and grammar. (In math, that means not only the definitions, but the ...


12

I’m a high school maths teacher and I use a way to test where crib sheets are allowed; yet pupils are rewarded for not using it. At the start of the test, the pupils use black ink and are not allowed to use the test aids (such as crib sheet and calculator). When they want to, they indicate to me that they want to use their aids, at which point they must ...


9

There are a number of resources I like out there. I tend to use a variety of different sites for different needs -- I don't think there is one that "does it all" but here are some of my favorites. Most of them are pretty random, though the first few below that have lots of customization options tend to make very usable worksheets, and for some applications ...


9

I think there are (at least) three different issues here, which do not benefit from being confounded with each other. First, yes, there is the literal issue of cost. Requiring tablets as opposed to inexpensive calculators, if paid for by parents, would be an example of a "regressive tax", and a bad thing. But, first-part-b, while a calculator would not be ...


8

In many of the classes I've taught, I've allowed students to have a sheet of notes (e.g., a course on differential equations where some of the recipes they're asked to apply can be easily mixed up) but with the following two features: I talk a lot about how, like others mention above, if they're going to rely on what they've written down during the exam, ...


8

One disadvantage of allowing "memory aids" is that there will then be little or no credit given for the appropriate formula. This makes it more difficult for a student with only a modest level of understanding to get a C, or even to pass.


5

i think the answers here are all very useful and thought out, i would like to add one thing. Tablets are not and likely will never be allowed to be used on standardized tests (SAT, ACT, AP, GRE, Praxis, etc) but (most) graphing calculators are. I would strongly suggest to at least expose students to graphing calculators and their more useful functions ...


5

I' m only going to answer one of the questions: What are the disadvantages of of allowing aids during tests/exams? First a point of terminology: Here in Australia, a sheet of notes you are allowed to take into your exam is called a "cheat sheet", and in Asia it's known as a "help sheet". In the USA it seems to be most often called a "...


4

The question is really broad and a bit vague, but some remarks hoping they match the intent. A key to discovering counter-examples is to understand the examples. Taken an example and try to modify to get more examples. See when/if they break. If they do not break think about why they did not break. Then 'attack' the point that prevented breaking in the next ...


4

It looks like there's a lot of moderately useful, or partially coded things out there but nothing that's really comprehensive and does fully what you want. In terms of the websites that generate PDFs, this one looked reasonably customizable - each of their worksheets had a number of different settings to control what ended up on it: http://www.math-aids....


3

I found this to be a highly readable concept map. The major problem I see is that it clearly has two main concepts: Sets and The set of Real Numbers. Each one of the concepts has an extensive tree of sub-concepts built from it. Additionally, there are only three connections between these two trees and these are all weaker connections: "can be used...", "is ...


3

This is only slightly an answer, but I've taken a different approach to (I think) the same goal, where I ask students to find log 2, log 3, log 4, and so on on their calculators, then build a slide rule out of it. I'd argue that most students will not appreciate the elegance of using only lined paper anyway, unless you are working with more mathematically ...


2

In many cases, there is a choice between memorizing and understanding. E.g., a calc student can memorize that $\cos'=-\sin$, or they can understand that it's a phase shift of 90 degrees and figure out the direction of the phase shift by visualization. Understanding is better, but it requires three things: (1) a teacher who has this type of understanding, (2) ...


2

This may not be directly answering your question, but I would suggest, if it is possible with your specific content matter, allowing students to make the choice of tablet calculator smartphone computer etc. The MAA's calculus text is a good example of one way that tablets could be used fruitfully. I don't require ANY technology other than access to ...


1

Here in South Africa we have a very useful program called MathsBuddy. MathsBuddy South Africa is a high quality, independent online maths tutoring programme based on the South African curriculum for Grades 1 to 12. MathsBuddy: was developed by experienced teachers, features over 1,800 animated and narrated (full audio-visual) maths lessons and more than ...


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