Monday, October 20, 2008

Algebra and moderation

Here is a simple way to assess students' understanding of algebraic functions. Suppose you gave a test and you are about to return them the paper. Ask them this:

Let's say your marks for this paper is x, and you are giving a choice to change your makes by using a certain function. Which function will you choose? You are only given one choice!

  1. x+5
  2. max(60, x+10)
  3. 100-x
  4. 10sqrt(x)
  5. 20ln(x)
Which one would you choose and in what situation would you choose each of them?

Of course you can extend this problem into a two variable function. Suppose paper 1 is x and paper 2 is y. Which one would you choose as your marks?

  1. (x+y)/2
  2. sqrt(x^2+y^2)
  3. sqrt(xy)
  4. max(x , y)
You can come up with many other functions to assess the students' higher order thinking skills.


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