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45 votes
Accepted

How to deal with a "protest" assignment?

You need to slam him on the grade. That is what he earned. Don't be so easily manipulated by his comments on your teaching. Also I would not have sent an email apology. Just offered to meet with ...
guest's user avatar
  • 474
38 votes
Accepted

How to solve the problem of Wolfram Alpha?

First of all, I believe this question is quite similar to the question "How to give homework for integration technique?". I avoid the temptation of repeating my answer for that question. Instead, I ...
Amir Asghari's user avatar
  • 4,438
27 votes

How to solve the problem of Wolfram Alpha?

Imagine you had to look up every word you wanted to use, because you had a poor vocabulary. This would get old, very quickly. The trouble is, many people don't have a genuine need to internalize ...
Jon Bannon's user avatar
  • 6,173
21 votes
Accepted

Effectiveness of Requiring Students to Repeat Proofs Presented in Class

I view a course as a story. The definitions introduce the characters, the theorems are the plot, and hopefully there is some sort of overarching message that plot is trying to convey. If you were ...
Steven Gubkin's user avatar
20 votes
Accepted

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

In a Google doc, one can "Insert/Equation" (marked by $\pi^2$). Then tiny pull-down menus appear in a top bar: Using these menus, I just typed this nonsense:      
Joseph O'Rourke's user avatar
18 votes

Would you correct grading mistakes downwards if there is a mistake in grading?

No matter how large or small the effect, if the mistake was caught by a student, I would never lower grades because of this. It would discourage students from pointing out mistakes. Take out any ...
Sue VanHattum's user avatar
  • 20.8k
17 votes
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Midterm in Mathematics Courses

"Cheating Lessons" by James M. Lang argues (and has many references to back up) the claim that smaller, more frequent, lower stakes assessment both improves student learning outcomes and decreases the ...
Steven Gubkin's user avatar
16 votes

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

Consider to just review scanned or photographed handwritten homework. Yes, this is not as easy as looking at typed work, but consider: would you require typed work normally? So why now? If your ...
guest's user avatar
  • 235
15 votes
Accepted

Would you correct grading mistakes downwards if there is a mistake in grading?

I would go with option 1, give everybody the points. But also, for the students who actually got it right, I would give them +1/40 bonus points so as not to annoy/upset them either. Basically, I don't ...
Justin Skycak's user avatar
13 votes
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Separating the roles of "teacher" and "assessor"

A question that occurs with a project like this (broader than one department, as you put it) would be: Who is qualified to make those assessments? Probably not any other department at a particular ...
Daniel R. Collins's user avatar
13 votes

How to deal with a "protest" assignment?

I am not a mathematics educator but I feel the need to chime in from the student side of this. I have taken numerous hard math classes during my BSc, and I have had my fair share of feeling hopeless, ...
CL40's user avatar
  • 231
12 votes

How to solve the problem of Wolfram Alpha?

It doesn't exactly solve the problem, but one way to make positive use of Wolfram would be to use some Wolfram Demonstration Projects. There are some that attempt to gamify calculus calculation ...
Jessica B's user avatar
  • 5,822
12 votes

The Undergraduate Responsibility Gradient

Here's another too-long comment posted as an answer: We tell undergraduate students that they should study two to three hours for every hour they spend in class. We know that many students don'...
Daniel R. Collins's user avatar
12 votes

When is the best time to return a graded assessment?

Return at the beginning and go over it then. Any in class drill should wait for the finish of q and a on the papers. Avoid parallel processing. You are leading a large group, not an individual. ...
guest troll on a phone's user avatar
12 votes
Accepted

Seeking Advice on Allowing Students to Skip a Quiz in Linear Algebra Course

I do recommend dropping a certain number of quizzes to handle cases like this. You don't want a policy that makes more demands on your time and labor. This is common enough to be familiar to students. ...
Daniel R. Collins's user avatar
11 votes

Would you correct grading mistakes downwards if there is a mistake in grading?

I think everybody who got the question "right" but was misgraded should have their score adjusted upwards. But everybody who got the question "wrong" should get the benefit of the ...
Jeff Silverman's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

Asking students to define "unique"

To avoid misinterpretations, I'd give it to them in a mathematical sentence and ask them to explain what they believe 'unique' means in this context. For lack of knowing where you are in the course, ...
Opal E's user avatar
  • 4,043
9 votes

How to design multiple choice questions

Personally in my own math courses, I have found that the gold-standard is to have an advance cycle of short-answer responses, document the most common student responses, and then turn those into the ...
Daniel R. Collins's user avatar
9 votes

Efficient methods to receive and grade online mathematics assessments?

If you have access to a device capable of touch input (like a tablet), then I would highly recommend using a stylus to annotate the pdf document. It should take almost the same time as if you were ...
Kartik Soneji's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

Strategies for Fair Assessment in Mixed-Ability Undergraduate Math Classes

This is essentially not a problem that a single instructor can solve on their own. The current top pedagogical theory in these cases is to provide "corequisite" or some kind of outside ...
Daniel R. Collins's user avatar
9 votes

Effectiveness of Requiring Students to Repeat Proofs Presented in Class

As a first intuition, I would rather ask for a proof of a special case or a different case; something which asks for some level of understanding (of what to alter), not only copying and pasting. It ...
Tommi's user avatar
  • 7,202
8 votes

How to solve the problem of Wolfram Alpha?

You can also use Wolfram Alpha to look up definitions of words. So by reductive reasoning, there is no need for infants to learn vocabulary because when they are old enough to use a smartphone, people ...
user52817's user avatar
  • 11k
8 votes

How do you incorporate the results from a final exam into evidence of learning in a valid and justifiable way (i.e. grade determination)?

I have always found this to be an extremely hard proposition in the US system of grading (hw + 2-3midterms + final=Grade). All of the systems I've seen were imperfect, but some were better than ...
DRF's user avatar
  • 1,018
8 votes
Accepted

What do you look for in a student presentation?

I have students present (in classes ranging from grades 7 to 12) and use the following rubric. It is not original, and googling various snippets suggests to me that it has been pieced together from ...
Benjamin Dickman's user avatar
8 votes

How to design multiple choice questions

Use them for what they're best at testing, like conceptual understanding questions. One way to do this is by having students evaluate statements they would never be expected to come up with on their ...
Nate Bade's user avatar
  • 1,941
8 votes

Teaching undergraduates who expect a high-school-like learning environment

I find class voting/clickers a good way to get students used to thinking about conceptual stuff. In fact, I often frame my lectures around three progressively more challenging conceptual questions. ...
ncr's user avatar
  • 2,986
8 votes

Should we assess ability to use specific problem solving methods, or general ability to solve problems?

As a fellow college algebra (et. al.) instructor, I think that knowing specific methods is a necessary thing to confirm. That's what I do on my tests. If you want and have time to add yet another ...
Daniel R. Collins's user avatar
8 votes

Effectiveness of Requiring Students to Repeat Proofs Presented in Class

I used to often ask questions of the form "State and prove Theorem X" in proof-based courses. My hope was that, instead of memorizing verbatim, students would boil the proof down to a few ...
user1149748's user avatar
7 votes

The Undergraduate Responsibility Gradient

I think that your point here is spot on: "Qualitatively, colleagues have noticed that when faculty over-organize student work, students continue to expect this and don't take on adequate ...
MathGuy's user avatar
  • 1,129

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