Step by step…

Posted on March 16, 2015

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Welp… telling myself that yes, it’s past mid-term and yes, I *know* I have informed all students every single time that if the online math doesn’t work, leave Explorer and go to Firefox or Chrome.   However, for students in Anxious Survival mode, that is exactly the kind of detail that will. not. stick.

That said, when the Excel assignment for said class gives explicit directions for which cells to type in for your formula, it can mean that students are simply copying.  If they managed to have things set up differently, and they type in exactly your formula and can’t figure out why it doesnt’ work… it’s a teaching moment. “WHat am I doing wrong???”

“Well, what you’re doing wrong is copying instead of thinking about what you want this formula to do.”   Since you’re multiplying dollars by the exchange rate, you’d better tell Excel where to find the number of dollars, and where to find the exchange rate.

And *that* said… progress is, actually, happening.   Students are getting better at applying what they know and trying things out.  Why?   Because the content is highly structured and doesn’t assume they’ll figure out the three steps in the middle on their own, so when they apply what they know, there aren’t four hidden steps that knock ’em down again.

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