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Questions and Summaries Policy:

The format for this course will be a bit different from most mathematics classes. We will start each class with a list of questions that you provide, and will base the class discuss on these. In this way, you have a very direct control over the content of the course, and it is important that you spend time between class thinking about the dimensions. As part of your daily assignment, I will ask you to produce at least one written question and enter it on the Math 53 discussion board, and I will select five or six to present to the class. They can be about anything that you didn't understand, or about new ideas that you have thought of and want the class to consider.

You will need to have these entered by 9:30 AM on the day of class, so that I have a chance to read through them and make my selection. Although you should be able to come up with many questions over the course of the term, if you have an important question, you can ask it again if it was not answered in class.

In addition to coming up with these questions, I am going to ask you (as a group) to write short (two or three paragraph) summaries of each class. We will be using the Math 53 forum to facilitate this in the following way: each day, I will start a new topic for that day, and ask that two or three of you post short summaries of that class as the beginnings of new conversations. Others should feel free to add comments to these, especially if there were omissions, inaccuracies, or confusions. The main comments should be posted by 10:00 PM the night before the next class (so everyone has a chance to read them), but you are welcome to post additional comments at any time.

I will be posting the homework questions (other than the hand-in ones) to the conference as well, and you should answer these or respond to other student's answers before the next class, as well.

Not everyone needs to comment on every class or every homework question, but I expect that by the end of the term, everyone will have made at least fifteen or so substantive comments along the way, and will have summarized at least six classes (that's fewer than one a week).

The idea is to continue to think about the material after it has been presented in class. Your summaries should describe the major ideas, but should not simply repeat what we said in class. The summary should not be simply a laundry list of the ideas we discussed, but should pick out the important material, and should interpert that material, making connections to past parts of the course, or speculations about what is to come. Try to organize and codify that material. (This is a skill that you need to practice.) It is important for you to take time outside of class to think about the material, and these write-ups should help you focus your concentration.

The questions that you bring to class and ask on line will be what drive the course, so the insight and effort you put into these will have a big impact on the quality of your classroom experience this term.

[HOME] Math 53 (Spring 2007) web pages
Created: 31 Mar 2007
Last modified: Apr 1, 2007 7:11:34 AM
Comments to: dpvc@union.edu
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