Priority sorting program for Inquiry Based Learning Courses

(Program by Brian Knapp, Fall 2011 Teaching Assistant for Math 239: Introduction to Mathematical Proof)


This program has three pieces, and one "ReadMe" file with directions for use. There are two packages available here, one from 2011 and one from 2012. Each contains the following files:
* PrioritySystem.jar - the program, written in java (you may need to find and download java separately), for imputting grades, sorting students, and displaying the sorted list.
* ClassList.csv - a classlist template in the "commas separated value" format, readable by MS Excel.
* Options.txt - a file which lists parameters for changing the sorting algorithm based on frequency of class meetings and frequencey of presentations.
* ReadMe.rtf - a file which gives instructions for use of the program.

While this program is now being used at several other colleges (including Nazareth College in Rochester, NY and University of Toronto at Mississauga), the original version of this program was used in a 25 student sophomore-junior level Introduction to Mathematical Proof (Math 239) course at the State University of New York, College of Geneseo, using a course script derived from Ron Taylor's script in the Journal of Inquiry Based Learning in Mathematics. This 3-credit class met for three 50-minute sessions per week, for 15 weeks.

Students were awarded 0-4 points for presenting proofs in class, and 0-2.5 points for presenting a calculuation. These points were inputted into the computer program, which then displayed the re-sorted list on a smart-board screen; note that this smartboard was not a primary board, but rather an "overflow" board for when the class ran out of space on the varous blackboards in the room, and for when the instructor had something to present. The program also includes a "recentness" feature - in this version of the program students are given 125 temporary points on the day which they present, which is reduced to 25 the next day, 5 points the next, 1 point the next, and then 0 thereafter. This prioritizes students who have not presented recently, and prevents students from presenting on consecutive class meetings. You are encouraged to look at the book Moore Method: A Pathway to Learner Centered Instruction for more information about IBL in Mathematics.

By popular request of students, the program was initially designed to quickly and efficiently display to students "who was up next" in the order of presentations; now, at the end of each class, I press the spacebar to reorder the list to the next day's recentness values. The program has also had the effect of giving a more transparent and fluid grading scheme, where students can quickly understand why they are or are not being chosen for a presentation.

More details about every facet of this program can be found in the ReadMe.rtf file (enclosed in either package), written by Brian Knapp.

Here are the files to download:
New package, with priority queu at the top of the screen. This is perfectly suited for rooms where the projector screen covers the blackboard or whiteboard, but one may pull down the screen just a few feet to allow for blackboard use "in the spotlight."
The original package, with the queu on the left side of the screen. This was designed for use on a smartboard, where the left side is cannot be written on because of the presense of page tabs.

Note: if you are having trouble openning these zipped folders, please look into getting an unzipping program like Winzip.

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