This term, we will be using a web-based homework system, called WeBWork, in this section of the course. It is designed to help you determine if you have gotten the right answer when you do your homework problems, without telling you what the right answer actually is.
Many students get into the habit of looking up the answer in the back of the book and working backwards, but in life, there is no back of the book, so that is a technique that will not serve you well in the future. WeBWork gives you the advantage of telling you whether you solved a problem correctly, but won't tell you the right answer if you didn't, so you can continue to work on the problem until you do get it right.
In life there is no back of the book.
Successful completion of the WeBWorK homework will count toward your final grade (see the grading policy for the exact percentage). Since you are allowed to continue to work on the problems until you get them right, everyone should be able to get full credit on this.
A document that introduces you to WeBWork is available on the Math Department's WeBWork server, along with links to the login pages for all courses using WeBWorK this term. Your login name is the same as your email name on the Union College computers, and your password is your student ID number. Even if you used WeBWorK in a previous term, your password for this course initially is your student ID. You should change this to something else the first time you log in to the WeBWork system.
The WeBWorK homework will be assigned via "homework sets", and each will have a due date (usually the next Friday). You can receive credit for doing the problems up until the due date. After that, the answers will be made available, and while you will still be able to work through the problems, they will not count toward your grade.
Be aware that computers and printers sometimes go down at the worst possible times, so it is not wise to wait until the last minute to do your WeBWork homework. Because there are sometimes unforeseen difficulties with individual questions, you will receive full credit for any homework set where you complete at least 90% of the problems.
Mathematics is a discipline than can only be learned by doing. Listening to a lecture is not the same thing as working through problems on your own, so if you plan to learn the material, you must do the assigned problems. WeBWork should help you accomplish this.
See the study suggestions for some helpful hints on homework.