forall x, forsome x, forno x

Tue 07 Feb 2006 04:49 PM

Today I received student comments from last term. Since it was the first time teaching with forall x, I asked a number of questions about the text itself. There aren't very many dust-jacket quality comments, but here is one: "Very clear. Not overly wordy. Great book to use."

The raw data looks like this:

Did the textbook explain matters clearly?

  yes         42
  yes, but... 13
  no           5
Did the textbook explain matters in sufficient depth?
  yes         37
  yes, but...  9
  no          13
Did the book provide enough practice problems of varying kind and difficulty?
  yes         45
  yes, but...  1
  no          10
Although I did not ask about it, 32 respondents said that there should be more solutions to practice exercises.

64 students responded, 2 of whom said that they had not used the book at all. I ignored incoherent responses such as "yes&no"; I counted answers like "mostly" as "yes, but..."

I also asked about lecture, and students were split in this regard. Many students said they would not have understood the book if they had not come to lecture. Others said that the book was a good study guide, filling in gaps and reinforcing things done in lecture. A few said that they were always confused by lecture and would be completely lost if it weren't for the book.

Altogether, the results are positive. I need to think more about adding to the solutions in the back of the book. I worry about making the book needlessly larger. Also, students can come to office hours to make sure they're getting it right. Hmm...