“fault resistant” enhancements

Posted on November 7, 2014


There is a flavor of “no excuses” that i will vouch for… and that’s when it really reduces the number of excuses students could use for not learning (instead of simply making students responsible for thigns that they may or may not have any control over and weeding out those who don’t manage).

In our pre-pre-algebra course, we upload the homework assignments and the exam reviews to the student course website. Students don’t have to hand in the exam review; it’s up to them to use it as they see fit.

So, in strolls a student to the tutoring lab.  He has an exam coming up and he wants help. Now, please.

I tell him, “Go to your Cobra page and you’ll find an exam review.   Get started on it, and if you have questions, I’m here to help.”

He proceeded to do so, hopefully learning that for the next exam, he could do the same thing.   He started working on it…

… a second student came strolling in.   He has an exam coming… the first student interrupts:  “You need to do what I’m doing.”  He points at the chair beside him. “Sit down.”   The students proceeded to collaborate.

Be it duly noted that just putting the stuff online wasn’t enough.   They wouldn’t have found it. They also may well have not tackled the Big Fat Exam REview Page if they were at home… math can be scary and suddenly the dog needs walking and…

Last but not least, the review was, actually, able to be tackled.  This wasn’t one of those “if you need the worksheet you can’t do it, and if you can do it you don’t need it” reviews; it was a good, solid review with some challenges mixed in with the assorted problems (key word: assorted; the folks who land in this class are often accustomed to tiny spoonfuls at a time, nothing cumulative, oh my!).

So, some would say that Students Should Be Responsible For Keeping Track Of Everything.   Well, don’t should on me and I won’t should on you, okay?

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