December 17 Day 649: Realistic or Out-dated ?

I am pleased to report that all the papers submitted in support of group projects have been graded. What distressed me was what students thought were appropriate sources for references. I use Wikipedia and Wolfram MathWorld as much as the next person. They are great places to start answering questions and have good science/math entries.Continue reading “December 17 Day 649: Realistic or Out-dated ?”

December 15 Day 647: Interview Marathon Part II

My first academic term teaching face-to-face since March 2020 is close to completed. Continuing my COVID practice of assessing students through oral examinations, I recently finished two long days of interviews. This reflection will detail the process and lessons learned (much as I have done in the past as documented in all these posts.) TheContinue reading “December 15 Day 647: Interview Marathon Part II”

December 12 Day 644: Procrastination

I thought I would be further along in my grading by this time of the weekend. I had big plans. First I would grade presentations, then projects, and then portfolios. Ideally having it all done before the marathon interview sessions start tomorrow for my students’ in-person oral final exam. Instead, I have graded last homeworks,Continue reading “December 12 Day 644: Procrastination”

November 8 Day 610: Oral Assessment Redux

Oral assessment was something I adopted during remote teaching mostly to reduce the adversarial relationship between me and my students. By giving the problems in advance and allowing all resources (including Chegg and other online services) for preparation, no one was violating academic conduct rules. However, each student must individually present solutions to a smallContinue reading “November 8 Day 610: Oral Assessment Redux”

October 3 Day 574: Old Routines are not Necessarily Good Routines

It’s the weekend during the regular academic year and it feels like nothing has changed. What does that mean? Phone calls with family and grading. It feels so familiar. The biggest difference is there is one more call to make now, having two sons away at college. UW Tacoma’s Matrix Algebra class is writing-intensive (a.k.aContinue reading “October 3 Day 574: Old Routines are not Necessarily Good Routines”

March 6 Day 363: COVID Practices Part I

Exactly a year ago today, the University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce announced classes would be offered remotely for the final week of Winter Quarter 2020. We had three days notice to adjust. The initial plan was a deep clean, a few weeks of remote engagement, including a “soft start” to the Spring quarter,Continue reading “March 6 Day 363: COVID Practices Part I”

December 6 Day 273: Winning

For the first time in a month, I have caught up on my grading. It feels like a miracle. What made this weekend different from all the others? The fact that this week’s assessment was oral and not online. Yes, I spent a tremendous amount of time interviewing students during the week. But when theContinue reading “December 6 Day 273: Winning”

November 8 Day 245: Comparison

The last group oral assessment I administered required 10.5 hours (21 groups of 2-3 students each for a 30 minute time slot) plus another hour or so for uploading comments. That might seem like a lot but for comparison consider today—I have been grading the individual online assessment from last week. I’m about halfway doneContinue reading “November 8 Day 245: Comparison”

October 25 Day 231: Patterns of my Life

As a mathematician, I look for patterns. My weekly patterns are becoming clear–at least for this quarter. Sunday: I grade like a madwomen. The assignments that I could not face or find the time for during the week cannot be left any longer. I never seem to reach the bottom of the pile. I thinkContinue reading “October 25 Day 231: Patterns of my Life”

October 18 Day 224: Meet My Nemesis

G.R.A.D.I.N.G. Protocols from Spring have been modified to safeguard my sanity. Across the board reductions has been taken (similar to what is happening in academic budgets. ) This formidable opponent remains two or three problems ahead of me at all times. I have yet to defeat my grading by completely clearly the decks for evenContinue reading “October 18 Day 224: Meet My Nemesis”

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