Dear Heather:

Thanks for the email, which I found refreshingly pleasant

after some of the flak I've been getting. Please don't worry about

your are one of my favorite students in this class, and

am prepared to guarantee you will pass the course based on your

performance so far, no matter what you do for the rest of the


I would be happy to reduce the length of the quizzes because

they are a pain to make up accurately, but am reluctant to do so

since they are so effective at teaching the material and since so

many students in the class still seem to lack any confidence that

they can program at the elementary level of the Practice Programs of

the early chapters of the book. Two line programs should not take

hours to compose.

So hang in there, come to class and do what you can in

section, but don't wipe yourself out on this class at the expense of

the other ones out of fear of won't happen.




> Dear Professor,


> I am writing this e-mail to beg for your mercy. Last Thursday, if I

> understood correctly, you decided to for-go having in class quizzes for

> take home practice problems. I think there were 6 of them. It is my

> experience that practice problems take about half an hour to do (some more,

> some less), which equates to 3 additional hours outside of class. It also

> takes me 3 hours to do my weekly homework, plus reading the chapter and

> working on my project. I thought this was a great idea since it gave me

> more outside time to dedicate to my project.


> This is where I become unclear. I read the web page, as you asked, but all

> I saw is what I already know. For some reason, we now have 5 or 6 practice

> problems, twice a week, plus in classes quizes. I would like to add that

> the last two quizes were much more difficult then the first ones. I

> realize that some people would prefer in class quizes, but I'm not sure why

> you decided to assign such a heavy load. This means that there are 3 hours

> of class a week, plus 5 hours of additional practice problems (10 problems

> a week, five per class meeting), plus 3 hours for previously assigned home

> work. This equates to 11 hours a week, where as previously, we had only

> about 6 hours a week. That seems a steep increase in workload.


> I can see where the additional work would be justified if we were

> engineering students, but most of us are psychology students taking this

> class as a requirement. I spend more time on this class than any other

> class I have, which include biology, history, and psychology. I took the

> class pass/no pass, but to be honest, I'm concerned about my ability to

> pass at this point.


> I hate to be a critic without offering a solution, so here is one that

> seems fair to me. I agree that students learn a lot by attending lecture,

> but with this subject matter, hands on practice is essential. How about we

> have a 10 question quiz instead of a 20 or 25 question quiz and 2 practice

> problems. This gives students incentive to continue going to class, plus

> giving them additional hands on practice, while still freeing up time to

> spend on their final project. That would be 3 hours in class plus 3 hours

> for homework, plus 1 or 2 hours of additional problems (7 or 8 hours per

> week besides reading, working on the project, etc.


> I greatly appreciate you taking the time to read my e-mail and I have

> learned quite a bit during the quarter so far.


> I highly recommend in class quizes for future classes. They stink from a

> student point of view because they force you to attend class. However,

> that is the reason this quarter did so much better than last quarter.

> Students don't realize how difficult this material is, so they think they

> don't need to spend time on it. Many of them don't realize that until it's

> too late.


> Once again, thank you for listening


> Heather Moffitt