Reading Assignments 101

You will generally be required to read the material in the textbook before we discuss it in class instead of after class like you’re probably used to doing in your other courses. Getting a first exposure to the material before we discuss it in class means (a) you’ll be better prepared to make sense of the content during class and (b) I won’t need to spend as much time lecturing on what you can read in the book. Since lecturing isn’t a particularly effective teaching method anyway, this means you’ll get more out of the course.

Check here on the blog for your reading assignments. Each assignment will include a short quiz with a few open-ended questions about the reading. The quiz will be due by 8 a.m. the morning before we discuss that reading in class. I’ll often read through your quiz responses before class and modify my lesson plans accordingly. That’s why the final question on each quiz will ask you to identify a difficulty you had with the reading.

You’ll be given a reading quiz score for each class period with a reading quiz.  This grade is based on effort, not accuracy, so you get the same score whether you answer the quiz questions correctly or not.  (This will be your first exposure to the material, so it’s not fair of me to grade your on accuracy.)  I’ll average your reading quiz scores over the semester to find your overall pre-class reading quiz average.

The pre-class reading quizzes (PCRQs) will appear here on the blog as separate posts, and you’ll submit your answers as comments on those posts. To do so, follow these procedures:

  1. Click here to register with the blog.
  2. Provide a username and your Vanderbilt email address.
  3. This will generate an email to your VU account with a link to activate your account.
  4. Follow the activation link to get your temporary password. Copy this password and then click on “Log in.”
  5. Log in using your username and temporary password. Click the “Remember Me” box so you won’t need to login in the future.
  6. You’ll find yourself at your “dashboard” for the blog.  No need to pay attention to this, just hover over “Math 216: Statistics for Engineering” in the bar at the top of the page and click “Visit Site” to return to the blog.

You’ll only have to do steps 1-5 once.  If you use the “Remember Me” option, then you’ll stay logged in on your computer.  If you use another computer or log out for some reason, you’ll need to login again before you can respond to a PCRQ.

Following these procedures will ensure that only you and I will be able to see your PCRQ responses.  That way, everyone will have the chance to answer the quiz questions on their own.  Also, you won’t have to worry about your peers seeing your responses, in case that concerns you.

Image: “Books,” Brenda Clarke, Flickr (CC)

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