Message 8/65 Carl Gibson Jan 27, 99 07:52:09 am -0800


Return-Path: <ir118>

Subject: Re: A couple of suggestions.


Date: Wed, 27 Jan 1999 07:52:09 -0800 (PST)

Cc: (Carl Gibson)



Dear Samantha:

Thanks very much indeed for your comments. The reason for

the quizzes every lecture is of course to improve learning. The

lectures are for the same purpose, and I believe the combination is

better than just one or the other. The TAs report a dramatic

improvement in student performance in their homework compared to

last quarter when I did not give frequent quizzes, so the system

seems to work very well even though it is a lot more work for me.

The purpose of getting a ranking in the homework is to

reward those students who do extra work. I think it would be unfair

of me to not reward those students that work harder by not making

sure they achieve a higher ranking.

I don't think it is unfair to expect students to attend two

lectures a week for a four unit course. Naturally students may miss

lectures for good reasons such as illness, and then makeup quizzes

are permitted.

Don't worry about your grade if you do the work. I intend

to give the class the same good grades I gave last quarter, but I

want to give the best grades to those that work hardest. Isn't that

the fair thing to do?

By this time you should be perfectly capable of producing an

original computer program as the first stage in your final project.

See the class webpage for some ideas. It can be anything that

interests you, and that gives you a chance to practice your

progamming. Make a flash card program, for example, for commands in

one or more of the Catlin chapters. Use your imagination.





Carl H. Gibson

Professor of Engineering Physics and Oceanography

Departments of AMES and SIO

University of California at San Diego

La Jolla, CA 92093-0411

Phone: (619) 534-3184, Fax: (619) 534-7599


MORE (you've seen 33%):



PS: You're right on the posted Quiz 3b solution (which I prepared rather hastily). I found another error while I was fixing yours. Mike made up his own key for the quiz grading, so I suspect he got it right. You get a gold star!

> Hello,

> I'm actually writing you an e-mail for a couple of reasons: (1) I

> think that Quiz 3b had a couple of errors in the grading. For #1: If you

> have an "if" statement, don't you need an END IF? If you do, then the

> answer to #1 is c. Will you check that please and let me know. (2) I know

> that last quarter no one showed up to your class becuase you didn't have

> mandatory attendence. But, that's not the reason to give us quizzes every

> day. I don't think that's fair. We have a right to miss class if we're

> sick or have a good excuse. If we don't come to class and subsequently

> receive a bad grade, that's our fault and we should take the

> responsibility for it. I agree that giving quizzes is a good way to learn.

> However, I believe that you should give us options. Option 1: Let us drop

> our three lowest quiz score (in other classes we're usually allowed to

> miss 3 classes anyway). Option 2: Do a really big curve. Option 3: Have a

> time set aside at night at the end of the quarter to take all of the

> quizzes we missed. If you're going to give quizzes, I believe you need to

> be fair about it. We cannot possibly attend every lecture, nor should we

> have to. College is about learning responsibility and having freedom.

> We're not in high school anymore, and I don't think we should be treated

> as high school students. (3) I'm torn between taking this class as a

> pass/no pass, or as a grade. Currently I'm taking it for a grade and am

> doing pretty well I believe. But, both quizzes and the homework are worth

> a large percent of our

> grade, and if I'm not going to get an A in the class, then I would rather

> take it pass/no pass. I knew people who took it last quarter and got A's.

> I would like that same opportunity, please. (4) I think it's ridiculous to

> make us do half of our final half way thru the course. We don't know

> enough information. I know you want us to read ahead and grasp the

> concepts, but we do have other classes, and the book, contrary to what you

> think, does not always explain things so that we can understand them. I

> have a hard time following you in lecture (i don't even talk during class)

> because your lectures are random and we haven't had section yet. The only

> time I learn anything is in lab. And, because we haven't had lab before

> your TUES. quizz, we don't understand the matieral, and consequently,

> receive bad grades. Most of us are at a loss for words

> as far as the final goes. (5) I also don't agree with your ranking system.

> I work just as hard as the next guy, and may do just as well as him/her as

> well. But, because you insist on ranking everyone, my grade suffers. We

> don't understand your reasoning for this, and it doesn't benefit the

> student in the least bit. I do my homework and I "kiss up to the TA's" by

> doing a bunch of little things (half of which we haven't even learned yet)

> and I still don't get 10's just because someone has to be first and

> someone has to be last. Give us the grades we deserve, not the ones you

> want to give us.

> I'm sorry if you've taken offense to this letter, but I'm sure that most

> of the class would agree with me. In fact, a lot of us have discussed it.

> Please consider what I've said. I don't mean to upset you, but my grade,

> GPA and chances to get into a good grad school do depend on the way you

> run your class.

> Sincerely,

> S French