I know in the past, new computers meant lots of labor rebuilding defaults, and now most of that stuff is “in the cloud,” but… there are still Things.
Still, I have designed a modified “opening day activity” with students in a basic arithmetic course.
I’ve tripped over some “how to make online courses” pages on some college & university sites, and was amused and impressed that many had sample syllabi and communications with students in different “flavors.” Fact is that expectations for “math for the terrified” are different from a “math boot camp” even if the content might be essentially the same.
So, this is my Google Docs version of the letter for the “college arithmetic” course. It starts with:
Welcome to Basic Mathematics. I have high hopes for this course, and I hope you do too. You may not believe it, but we really can have fun in this class!
This class is designed to do two main things:
- Help you understand basic math concepts
- Help you learn how *you* can learn math even when it’s hard.
I know that lots of people have had bad experiences with math. I don’t want this to be one. We’re in this together! It will help me to know how you think and feel about math. Please answer these questions seriously.
Since I have my new computer and they put GIMP in it… I could make little graphics for the yes and no and ‘meh’ points on the questionnaire about math.
Then it would be on to the naming numbers …