Looking toward a new semester

Today I am working on the syllabus for the course I am going to be teaching multiple sections of in the fall: Quantitative Reasoning (QR). I have a few goals aside from simple syllabus-creation.

  1. I want to create an excellent course that can be standardized and given to adjuncts to teach. I have before run good sections of QR, but we have not at Lesley had a cohesive standard for what belongs in the QR class (and what is optional), and I want to be developing something this semester that can be widely used.
  2. In the past I haven’t used out textbook, Bennett and Briggs Using and Understanding Mathematics. I have made a personal commitment this semester to actually using the text since I want to refine this course so that it is easy for adjuncts to teach. I tend to simply create my own materials for this class, so I’m trying to keep an open mind about materials that come pre-packaged. I want to be able to do this without totally losing an inquiry-based approach to the class.
  3. I am teaching two “regular” sections of this course and one “with lab” section which has an extra hour of class each week. I want to come up with something we can do as a class for that extra hour that won’t get us out of step with the rest of the class.
  4. I want to have clear objectives for the students this semester that are stated explicitly. I generally have some broad goals listed on the syllabus, but I also want to have explicit goals I communicate with them about skills and concepts I expect them to master.

So I’m off! We’ll see what I can come up with today. Once that’s at least partially done, I’m going to turn my mind toward what I learned at the Bridges conference and what I might want to do with it!

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