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1

A compromise approach could be to give a problem (with parts), as you might on a guided worksheet. Such as: A function $f$ has domain $(2,4)$. We define $g$ by $g(x) = f(x-2)$. a) Is $g(3)$ defined? b) Is $g(5)$ defined? c) What is the domain of $g$? You might even give a follow up problem (perhaps as extra credit) along the lines of: A function $f$ ...


9

I think the given example is highly appropriate. You cannot cover every possible combination of ideas in class. Students display understanding of a concept (rather than "recipe following") by showing the ability to adapt at least a little bit to novel conditions. I think the problem you gave is a great homework problem. I personally like homework to be a ...


9

I would frame this issue a little differently than you have. I think it's unreasonable, at least in the context of courses which aren't well into a math major, to ask students to do something they have not been taught to do. That is, the problems on an assessment should be the same as problems they've seen already. The catch is that "the same" is actually ...


7

My advice is to minimize the amount of such synthesis required. Don't make it a large fraction of your tests, if at all. Teach the students the methods you expect them to display on the exam. Not something requiring some spark of creativity. Program for success. Creativity is tough in general and even tougher under test conditions. If you push too ...


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