A New Model Course in Applied Quantum Physics
E.F. Redish, R.N. Steinberg, M.C. Wittmann

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Essay Assignment System

An important component of student learning is the ability to communicate their reasoning in a variety of settings and methods. The essay assignment system allows students to answer non-mathematical questions that emphasize conceptual understanding. These questions allow students to discuss concepts from many different parts of the course, including tutorials, homework, and the readings. For more information, follow the links listed below. A link including "(WWW)" connects to a location outside the CD-ROM.

Example Essay Questions

Assigning essay questions can be adapted according to your needs. There are two philophies for assigning essays to students.

Weekly essay assignments

In the first, students are assigned two essay questions over a weekend - one based on material learned in the previous week, the other based on reading assigned for the next Wednesday. By making the essays due before homework is due, students must read the text and started their homework before the last minute.

Daily essay assignments

(Just-In-Time Teaching (JiTT (WWW)) approach)
In the second, students answer essay questions before every class, either on material discussed in the last class or on ideas that will be discussed in the coming class. This gives the instructor the ability to better match lectures to student understanding, creating a classroom environment that helps students learn more effectively.

Using Essays in Your Classroom

The type of communication between students and instructors depends greatly on the computing resources that are available.

Informal solutions

These can be created with email, where students are mailed the question and reply to the instructor by a specific deadline time and date. For more information, click here.

Formal solutions

These exist through the use of WebAssign (WWW), WebCT (WWW), or other similar database packages.                     




Last modified 2k1 Jun 21