WeBWorK UPDATE: Normal Distribution questions

Hi everyone,

Regarding the normal distribution questions in WeBWorK (the ones using the table handed out in class), it is important to know the following:

WeBWorK expects the answer to be a decimal (between 0 and 1), rather than a percent (between 0 and 100).  Therefore, you MUST convert the percent given in the table into a decimal before entering your answer (move the decimal point two spaces to the left).

My apologies for any confusion this has caused!

-Mr. Reitz

OpenLab #4: Reflecting on the Class

Every college class is planned with certain goals in mind Рto convey ideas, to encourage certain kinds of thinking, to provide opportunities for learning, for exploration, for practice.  A typical plan consists of a mix of different activities, both in and out of class, and hopefully each activity contributes to achieving the goals of the class.  In this assignment, I am going to ask you to think about some of the different things you have done for this class and reflect on their effectiveness.

Some of the activities that make up this class are listed below.  This list is not comprehensive (it may be missing things!), and includes both in-class and out-of-class activities.

Partial list of activities:

  • lectures
  • webwork assignments
  • openlab assignments
  • exams
  • answering questions at the board (often at the start of class)
  • doing examples on the board (often during the course of a lecture)
  • working on problems individually during class
  • group work during class
  • asking/answering questions by email
  • office hours
  • working on your own outside of class (doing homework, review problems, studying, etc)
  • working with one or more fellow students outside of class (doing homework, review problems, studying, etc.)

Assignment (Due Tuesday, July 2nd).  Respond to at least two of the following questions (1 or 2 sentences each).  Feel free to discuss activities that are not listed above, if you wish.

  1. What activities have been most useful to you in preparing for exams? Why?
  2. What activities have been most useful to you in making connections between the class material and other areas of your life? Why?
  3. What activities have been most useful in building community in our class (creating a comfortable atmosphere, getting to know your fellow students, building trust)? Why?
  4. Are there any activities that you wish you had spent more time on (this includes activities that are not on the list, but you think should be included)? Explain.

OpenLab #3: Math in your future?

Most people go to college because they are trying to build a better future for themselves.  What job do you hope to get after college?  Imagine you have completed your college degree, and your education and experience have allowed you to obtain the job that you want.

With this job in mind, consider the following list of activities.  Which of them are you most likely to be asked to do as part of your new job?  Put them in order from most likely to least likely.  If you are uncertain, make your best guess based on your current knowledge and experience.

List of activities:

  1. Convert units (convert a measurement from one type of units to another).
  2. Learn to use a computer system that is unfamiliar to you, and then complete a task on that system.
  3. Brainstorm a variety of responses to a problem and decide among several solutions, each of which has plusses and minuses.
  4. Make a decision based on data (for example: a list of responses to a survey, a list of numbers, a table, or chart)
  5. Solve an equation.
  6. Complete an assignment with a team of several people, including: finding a time and place to meet, dividing responsibilities, making sure everyone is completing their part, delivering the final product on time.

Assignment (due Thursday, June 27th):

Respond to the above activity by leaving a comment in response to this post.  Your comment should include all of the following:

  1. What is your major?  What job are you hoping to get after graduation?
  2. From the list of activities above, give your ranking in order from¬†‚Äúmost likely to be required on your new job‚Ä̬†to¬†‚Äúleast likely‚ÄĚ.
  3. Discuss the first item on your list.  Do you think that this class will help prepare you to complete that task?  If so, how?  If not, what could be done in this class to help prepare you for that task?
  4. Discuss the last item on your list.  Do you think it is important to learn (even if you are not likely to use it at your job)?  Why or why not?

Extra Credit.  Comment on  someone else’s post.   Do you agree or disagree? Why?

OpenLab Assignment #2: Advice From The Past

Last June I also taught this same course, MAT 1180, in summer school.  Just before the final exam, I gave my students the following assignment:

Imagine that you are invited to speak on the first day of MAT 1180, to give advice to entering students. ¬†Write a paragraph…describing what you would tell them.

To see the assignment and the students’ responses,¬†follow this link.

Your assignment, due next Thursday, June 20th, is to:

  1. Read through ALL the responses (there are 42 of them, but some are quite short).
  2. Write a reply to this post (1 paragraph) responding to all of the following:
    1. What advice seemed most relevant to you personally? Why? (you can copy/paste a short statement, or put it in your own words)
    2. Based on this advice, what changes can you make right now to help you with this course?

Extra Credit. For extra credit, write a response to one of your classmates’ comments.  Do you have any advice?  Be kind.

WeBWorK Update – a few notes

Heads up guys – If you have not entered an email address into WeBWorK, I CANNOT RESPOND to your questions sent from within the WeBWorK system – I get an email with your question, but have no way to reply. ¬†You can enter your email address by logging in to WeBWorK and selecting “Password/Email” from the menu on the left. ¬†Thanks!

Some things to be aware of:

1. ¬†Several students have run into trouble in Assignment #3 entering scientific notation, when the exponent is negative — there is an error indicating that parentheses are not allowed. ¬†If this happens to you, try entering your answer without parentheses, like this:


2.  In Assignment 4, we did not have a chance to cover problems number 4 and 5.  You are NOT responsible for these problems this week Рyou will be asked to complete them next week.

Let me know if you have any questions,

Mr. Reitz