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.
Assigning essay questions can be adapted
according to your needs. There are two philophies for assigning
essays to students.
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.
(Just-In-Time Teaching (JiTT
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
Essays in Your Classroom
The type of communication between students
and instructors depends greatly on the computing resources that
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
These exist through the use of WebAssign
(WWW), WebCT (WWW),
or other similar database packages.