PBL Pathways

Content Area

College Algebra, Finite Mathematics

Time Frame

2 to 3 weeks with mini-lectures


September 9, 2008


Linear modeling, linear regression, scatter plot

Project Title

Do Homework?


David Graser, Yavapai College, Prescott, AZ (David_Graser@yc.edu)


For years I have told students that doing homework helps them to learn math. And for years my students have avoided doing homework at almost any cost. I developed this project (to be used early in the semester), to convince them to do their homework. In this project, students are given data regarding a previous classes' homework and corresponding final exam scores. Based on this data, students can decide for themselves whether homework is worth doing. Project Letter 1 uses actual data. Project Letter 2 uses data randomly generated by an Excel spreadsheet.

Project Content

Project Letter 1: DOC | PDF

Project Letter 2: DOC | PDF | EXCEL

Scaffolding Resources

Technology Assignment: DOC | PDF

Video: Make a Scatter Plot in Excel


For real data, the slope of the regression line of most finite math classes comes out to be about the same from semester to semester. The slope for college algebra classes generally comes out to be smaller.


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