Student and Teachers 2 Calendar

Week 1 – Cover quadratic functions Distribute Project Letter
MML Homework Due from Week 1
Week 2 – Cover polynomial and rational functions
Tech Assignment: Scatter Plots Due
MML Quiz Due from Week 1
MML Homework Due from Week 2
Week 3 – Cover exponential and logarithm functions
Tech Assignment: Regression Model Due
MML Quiz Due from Week 2
MML Homework Due from Week 3
Week 4 – Cover limits and discuss technical memos
Tech Assignment: Rational Model Due
MML Quiz Due from Week 3
MML Homework Due from Week 4
Week 5 – Cover Continuous functions and rates of change
Tech Assignment: Limits at Infinity Due
MML Quiz Due from Week 4
MML Homework Due from Week 5
MML Quiz Due from Week 5
Project Due

Expectations in Face to Face and Online Classes

My colleagues often say that” if only the students would read the section in the text before they came to class….I could make better use of the limited time the students have in class.” Each of us has surely told students to read the material before they come to class. How many students actually do it? We are left with the impression that in order for the students to learn the content in the class, it needs come out of our mouths. Personally, I am not able to deliver the entire contents of an Applied Calculus or Finite Math text in 3 hours per week over 15 weeks. They MUST work outside of class to learn the materials!

A few years ago I embraced the use of MyMathLab to deliver a large portion of the class content and to involve the students actively in their learning. I find that students are inherently motivated to do homework and quiz problems because their grade depends on it. Instead of lecturing on a particular section in class and then having them complete a homework assignent or quiz afterward, I have the students do the homework first. For instance, during Week 1 in the week above, the calendar indicates that the students will cover quadratic functions. The homework for that material is due at the end of that week on Saturday and is administered through MyMathLab. I use the class meeting (if there are any) to go over the syllabus, how to use MyMathLab and class policies. During the second class meeting, I give a mini-lecture or do an in class activity over quadratic functions. This is enough to get them started on the homework and to allow them some success on the first few questions. Students typically work on the homework during this week utilizing online videos, the textbook and the ever populat “Help Me Solve This” button. Students must achieve 75% on the homework to be eligible to take the quiz on that material.

After the homework due date, typically on Sunday, I go over the assessment analysis in MyMathLab to see what they had trouble with. If a student is in a class with face to face meetings, the first class of week 2 is dedicated to helping the students overcome those troubles. Typically I need to go over 3 or 4 problems in depth. Any other time is used for in class activities or going over technology issues. I post handouts to the class discussion board on these same problems so that the online students benefit from the assessment analysis. Over the past few semesters, I have developed an extensive list of handouts and I find that I rarely need to create very many new handouts. Students are prepared to take the quiz on the Week 1 content after going over the problems in class or online and I make the quiz due the following Thursday.

During the second class meeting of week 2, I introduce the content for week 2 and the cycle repeats.

  • Homework is due every Saturday (or Sunday).
  • I go over the homework in class or online every Monday (or Tuesday).
  • I give a mini-lecture or student activity on new material Wednesday (or Thursday).
  • Quzzes are due on Thursday (or Friday).
  • Technology assignments are always due on Wednesday.

It is not easy divorcing yourself from being the only content deliverer in class. Initially I was skeptical that I could pull it off. However, if you set the expectations for the students and are able to deal with the volumes of email you might get, you might find that your students get more out of the classes and the discussion boards in your class. With this type of calendar, students are not able to be sporadic in the efforts. Coming to class and/or reading discussion posts is very important to them…they need to be there to have their questions answered.