|Negative feedback from students||topic started 9/24/2006; 10:32:43 PM
last post 9/25/2006; 12:33:29 AM
|John Jones - Re: Negative feedback from students
9/25/2006; 12:33:29 AM (reads: 208, responses: 0)
Here are a few thoughts based on our experience.
If you have particular students who say that they have syntax problems, use the view past answers feature. You can see every answer they submitted to a given problem. You can probably see if the difficulty really is syntax, or that they are having some other kind of error. In my experience, it is usually the latter.
It sounds like the students are relatively weak mathematically. This may cause them two problems. First, they are not as solid on their math syntax, so it is more of a big grey area for them. Second, weaker math students tend to be less good at diagnosing their own math difficulties.
The next problems may also affect weak students more. Some students have unrealistic expectations about their math homework. For example, some feel that they can sit down and do an assignment in one sitting. If they are getting a problem wrong, they just keep at it. This is working hard, but not working very effectively.
Most of these problems can be helped by the advice: when a student gets stuck, they should consult a human. They should try to fix a wrong answer once or twice, but if they feel stuck, it is time to see a tutor or teacher or someone who can diagnose their problem. Humans are infinitely better at this than computers, and webwork does not try to diagnose problems.
This may mean that they have to start their homework sooner so they can try it, and then go for help on the ones they got wrong. I would tell them that webwork will help isolate the problems they need to ask about, and then they get help on them, and then hopefully still collect credit. All in all, this approach will take less of their time, they will be frustrated less, and will learn more.