Category: Discussion Boards

Bringing the Real World to Your Math Class Every Day

I’ve been spending the first 5-10 minutes of every 2-hour math class discussing graphs in the news with my students. I’ll give you a few examples of what came up naturally week by week: Lots of social media graphs: Slope of the adoption rates for new users, the DAU (daily active users) and MAU (monthly active users) over time, and comparison of the adoption of new features in different platforms (Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) Tech industry: Growth of Amazon, Facebook, and Google, rise in employees at these companies, and comparison the money spent on Black Friday in the...

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Getting Graphs to Instructure Canvas Discussions

It’s not too hard to get graphs (or any kind of image that you can grab off your screen) into Instructure Canvas. From the instructor side, you can upload an image, which is easy enough, but what about from the student side? The trick seems to be copying and pasting from a stable URL. For example, in our first attempt, we tried to just copy and paste an image from WolframAlpha. Initially it looked like it worked. The image appeared on the discussion board as expected, and it seemed to save when the post went live. However, as soon...

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Jing Refresher and Myths

Just in case you’re getting back into the swing of things this fall and finding yourself as forgetful as me, I thought I’d give a little Jing refresher here and remind you of some resources. First, a little reminder of how Jing works! Myth #1: I use Camtasia so I don’t need Jing What about your students? Teach them to Jing and they can share screen captures and short videos with you!  Not enough motivation?  It’s much faster to whip out Jing and record a response to a student’s question than it is to create, edit, and produce a Camtasia video. Myth #2: The 5-minute time limit is a problem. No, the 5-minute time limit is a blessing.  Who really wants to watch more than 5 minutes of Internet video.  There’s great value in learning to get your message across in a concise little package.  When you ask students to submit videos to you for grading, you’ll quickly appreciate the 5-minute limit.  Plus, there’s nothing to stop you from recording a 3-part series if you really must get 15 minutes of information out there. Myth #3: The EMBED button is gone! The embed button is gone from the standard Jing installation, but you can get it back with about 2 minutes of time invested.   Use one minute to watch how to do it.  Use the second minute to do...

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Academic misconduct for a discussion board?

A student at Ryerson University is being charged with 147 counts of academic misconduct for running a discussion board for his chemistry class (on Facebook) that looks like it could essentially be the same kind of collaboration that we advocate FOR in online mathematics classes (even the kind of collaboration that we AWARD points for). Read the article here. Notice that the students are not collaborating on the SAME problem, they all have different versions of the problem. Given the instructions on the assignment: “assignments should be worked independently” it is hard to say whether the discussions constituted academic misconduct. If the discussions were general, and the students did do the homework problems independently of each other, then I think the student should be cleared here. However, let’s just weigh in on whether an instructor should discourage students from discussing general principles of homework problems online (as it sounds like the discussions were from the description in the article). One wonders if it is simply a case of the “digital divide.” Is using the textbook a violation of “working independently”? What if the textbook includes a CD of hints for homework problems that correlate to the online problems as well – is that still “working independently”? How about asking the T.A. for help or asking the professor? Maybe all these students should just start emailing every question to their...

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