Mathcad: Computer Assisted
A slide show outlining my use of Mathcad as a teaching aid.
Halliday, Resnick, and Walker
A Calculus Based Physics Course
Work Sheets These worksheets have been created in order to measure whether members of lecture class size 30 - 60 were actually doing their homework. These worksheets are completed in class under time deadlines and without the aid of notes, homework solutions, or the text book. The students are encouraged to talk with the members of their study group during the completion of each work sheet as a time pressured collaborative learning experience.
Test Book This set of files contains copies of previously used hour examinations in Mathcad format. These materials are meant to provide examples of the modifications to be expected when assigned homework problems are edited for test purposes. The student is challenged to print out selections of these materials for the purpose of measuring "timed test readiness". These exams should be worked in fifty minutes. The slight variations in wording and variation of the goal of the original homeowork problem makes it impossible to simply memorize the homework solutions in order to do well on these tests. The goal is to master the concepts of classical physics. All introductory physics problems are then achievable.
Bonus Problems Introductory physics courses have been constrained to simplified problems having little relationship to the "real" world. The provision of Bonus Problems is an attempt to offer some reward for the time spent in struggling with the complexities of Mathcad while attempting advanced concept problems. The complaint is that these are too hard, even though admittedly more "real". Top students dislike second rank students making A's through Bonus work. Bottom tier students dislike an opportunity for which they have neither time nor skill to complete.
Laboratory Templates Mathcad provides excellent templates for the preparation of laboratory reports. The math regions are "live" and WYSIWYG and the plots are near publication quality. These lab reports make a much better impression than expected from freshmen and sophomores. The difficulty of the student task is controlled by the instructor controlled omissions in the template provided. Almost everything is done for the student in the first report. It is necessary to give points even for the tutorial. By the fourth report the student is expected to make use of the examples provided in the earlier templates. (Open both, tile, select and drag to make use of previous solutions)
The Action Items are under construction. 1) Generate the best possible marketing of UMR through the Web. 2) Hire Instructional Technology experienced new faculty, make sure their career is built through I.T. not destroyed, 3) Support a beta set of current I.T. Active faculty using WebCT, 4) budget for and define the functions of additional Computer Center supervised support staff.
Instructional Software Development Center
CAI with Mathcad
UMR Physics Home Page
UMR Home Page
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