Mathematic Modelling Concerns
Dear Math department,First of all, we would like to thank you for restructuring the mathematic modelling course. We are aware that it takes a lot of time and energy to do so, and we highly appreciate the effort all teachers take. We understand that for both students and teachers these circumstances are not ideal, especially in a practical oriented course like maths. We see that both parties are trying the best out of it. To approve the course in the current situation, we would like to communicate our side of this 'new' experience.
(1) Studying math online and by yourself is more demanding and time consuming than it normally would be. This is for many stressful, especially under the these circumstances.
(2) We experience a discrepancy between the learning materials (questions in the textbook, video, and external materials) and the quiz. This also raises some concerns about how prepared we will be for the final exam.
(3) The subject matter is abstract. In a normal class setting, the teachers would explain and be able to give answers to questions in between. The lack of interaction between student and teacher makes it much more difficult to start a thought process in which questions arise. Accordingly, the explanations in the textbook alone (without interactive lectures) together with the practice questions do not completely prepare for the quizzes.
Moreover, we understand that the videos aim to visualise the subject matter. However, the videos mostly cover the basics and asking questions on the discussion board is not as effective as it would be in a normal class setting. Thus, what learn from the book seems to be insufficient to prepare us adequately, as we were surprised by the questions in the quiz under time pressure.
Based on these experiences, we believe that more extensive class times (i.e. combining the groups in each section), would help our learning process. It would allow for more time for the teachers to give explanations and answer questions in a more profound way. This then would help students to be better prepared for more complex questions.
We understand that there was a reason to separate the class initially, but hope that this is open for discussion or that we can look for alternative solutions together.
Lastly, we realise that the concerns we have expressed above are mostly focussed on completing the courses and taking the test. Yet, we would like to emphasise that above all we hope that with communicating our concerns we can find a solution that enables us to reach the full learning potential this course has to offer.
Thank you for taking the time to evaluate our concerns.
On behalf of all the who signed the petition.
Miqui Molenaar en Hannah Bredero