Monday, April 6, 2009

Developing Expert Voices: The Assignment

The Assignment
Think back on all the things you have learned so far this semester and create (not copy) four problems that are representative of what you have learned. Provide annotated solutions to the problems; they should be annotated well enough for an interested learner to understand and learn from you. Your problems should demonstrate the upper limit of your understanding of the concepts. (I expect more complex problems from a student with a sophisticated understanding than from a student with just a basic grasp of concepts.) You must also include a brief summary reflection (250 words max) on this process and also a comment on what you have learned so far.

If you wish you may work in groups of two or three students but not more. A group of two students is required to create five problems; a group of three, six problems.

You will choose your own due date based on your personal schedule and working habits. The absolute final deadline is June 7, 2009. You shouldn't really choose this date. On the sidebar of the blog is our class Google Calendar. You will choose your deadline and we will add it to the calendar in class. Once the deadline is chosen it is final. You may make it earlier but not later.

Your work must be published as an online presentation. You may do so in any format that you wish using any digital tool(s) that you wish. It may be as simple as an extended scribe post, it may be a video uploaded to YouTube or Google Video, it may be a SlideShare or BubbleShare presentation or even a podcast. The sky is the limit with this. You can find a list of free online tools you can use here. Feel free to mix and match the tools to create something original if you like.

So, when you are done your presentation should contain:
(a) 4 (or 5, or 6) problems you created. Concepts included should span the content of at least two full units. The idea is for this to be a mathematical sampler of your expertise in mathematics.

(b) Each problem must include a solution with a detailed annotation. The annotation should be written so that an interested learner can learn from you. This is where you take on the role of teacher.

(c) At the end write a brief reflection that includes comments on:

• Why did you choose the concepts you did to create your problem set?
• How do these problems provide an overview of your best mathematical understanding of what you have learned so far?
• Did you learn anything from this assignment? Was it educationally valuable to you? (Be honest with this. If you got nothing out of this assignment then say that, but be specific about what you didn't like and offer a suggestion to improve it in the future.)

Experts always look back at where they have been to improve in the future.

(d) Your presentation must be published online in any format of your choosing on the Developing Expert Voices (2008) blog.
Experts are recognized not just for what they know but for how they demonstrate their expertise in a public forum.

Levels of Achievement
Instead of levels 1-4 (lowest to highest) we will use these descriptors. They better describe what this project is all about.

Novice: A person who is new to the circumstances, work, etc., in which he or she is placed.

Apprentice: To work for an expert to learn a skill or trade.

Journeyperson: Any experienced, competent but routine worker or performer.

Expert: Possessing special skill or knowledge; trained by practice; skillful and skilled.


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