Re: if using Mathematica to solve an algebraic problem

*To*: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net*Subject*: [mg109133] Re: if using Mathematica to solve an algebraic problem*From*: Helen Read <hpr at together.net>*Date*: Mon, 19 Apr 2010 04:09:04 -0400 (EDT)*References*: <hpml5n$9nu$1@smc.vnet.net> <hppl95$m08$1@smc.vnet.net> <hputs2$lip$1@smc.vnet.net>

On 4/12/2010 6:49 AM, David Bailey wrote: > > Peace Helen! > > I am not in any way saying that how you teach is dangerous - I was more > imagining a situation in which students had access to Mathematica at any > time they wanted (student copy) and could use it to attack pencil and > paper problems that you had set them. In that situation, I think you > could end up with some students who became good at Mathematica, but > didn't learn enough maths. This is really a non-issue. We have a university-wide site license for Mathematica. It's available to everyone who wants it, 24/7. It is available on computers all over campus (including the classrooms where I teach), and the students have it on their laptops. My students know that they will be tested on, for example, techniques of integration, without any Mathematica or even a calculator. There is absolutely no incentive for them to "cheat" and use Mathematica on the skill-and-drill problems that are assigned for practice (and which are not collected or grade). They will either work on these problems by hand for practice (perhaps using Mathematica to check their work), or they won't do it at all, with obvious consequences when it comes to tests and quizzes. For other kinds of homework problems, I tell the students to use Mathematica to assist, but even if I don't say one way or the other, the students all exercise good judgment about when to do pencil-and-paper work, when to use Mathematica, and when to do some of each. As far as testing goes, I give tests in two parts. For Part 1, the students have only something to write with -- no Mathematica, no calculator. For Part 2, they have full use of Mathematica; they print their Mathematica work and staple it to their test paper when they hand in Part 2. Quizzes are sometimes with Mathematica, sometimes without, and sometimes in two parts, depending on the content. -- Helen Read University of Vermont