Friday, April 24, 2009

Please Learn How to Write a Survey

Of note, recently:
  1. Course evaluation forms ask students to rate the amount of work assigned on a scale of poor - excellent. If the amount of work assigned is "poor," should I be assigning more work or less work?
  2. Marketing survey from calculus text publisher. Question asked me how important various features of a calculus book were when I was making a decision about which text to adopt. This is fine for features I like, but what about features I don't like. Let's say the book features "Complicated real-world examples that force students to think and to demonstrate a deep conceptual understanding of calculus while using technology to interpret somewhat messy real-world data." Not realistic for the students I have. How important is this feature in my decision to adopt a calculus text? Very important because I would immediately reject such a text? Not important at all because I don't want this feature in my text?