I think I'm going to try a new exercise in my financial math class tomorrow. We've just finished Chapter 1, which is on simple interest (yes, a whole chapter on simple interest). If you are visualizing how the following project might go, here are some parameters: 45 students (we'll see how many actually show up), 75 minutes. If you've done a project similar to what follows, or even if you haven't, and you have some feedback for me (things to watch out for), I'd love to hear about it (before noon Thursday :)). Below is the assignment I'll be giving my students:
The goal of this project is for you to write your own questions to challenge your classmates, and help review chapter 1 material.
Outline: In groups of 5, you will be given half an hour to create a list of 4 ``interesting'' questions that cover chapter 1 material. The questions must not use formulas or concepts that are not covered in chapter 1. Your questions must not be re-writes of textbook problems, simply obtained by changing numbers or dates. You must be able to solve the problems you create (with the aid of a computer if the algebra is difficult). The 4 questions may all be based around a central scenario.
You will then exchange your list of problems with another group, and, in turn, will be given the problems created by a different group. You will have the remainder of the class period to produce solutions to the problems you have been given.
Specifics: In the first half hour, you must produce 2 papers, both containing the names of all group members. One paper should contain your list of questions. This paper will be given to another group in the second part of this assignment, so should only contain the questions you have written. Questions must be written well enough to understand without further explanation. Your second paper should contain well-written solutions to the problems you have written. To save time, you do not need to copy the text of the questions to this second page.
In the second portion, you must write solutions to the challenge questions you have been given. You may use the paper you have been given. You must write the names of all your group's members on this paper. As it will have two sets of names on it (the problem authors, and the solution authors), insure that the two sets are clearly identified.
Grading: Unless it is clear that a group member is not contributing, all group members will receive the same grade for this assignment. You may earn 2 points for each problem you write, up to 8 points total. Points may be deducted if the problem is not relevant or is poorly written. The write-ups for the problems you author, and the problems you are given, will all be graded out of 3 points.
You will not earn extra points for writing extra problems. You may have points deducted if the problems you author are not distinct from textbook problems.