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 (right click to download each):
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, which lists parameters for changing the sorting algorithm based on frequency of class meetings and frequencey of presentations.
ReadMe.rtf, which gives instructions for use of the program.
The current 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 above, written by Brian Knapp.
If you have questions, you may contact the Brian Knapp, the program's author, directly at bjk9 -at- geneseo -dot- edu. If this contact information is not up to date, please contact me at rault -at- geneseo -dot- edu and I will update it.