1. Defining and tracking learning goals


There will be two exam review sessions that each take place before the midterm (March 13th, Thursday) and the final (May 13th, Tuesday). The observer will be attending the review before the midterm exam, scheduled to take place on Thursday, March 6th in class from 1pm to 2:50pm. If the observer can't make the time, we will videotape the review session. Some background: the class prepares students for the theoretical qualifying exams and thus they have 5-6 problems to prove/solve each week.

The learning goal for the class session is to find ways to present the solutions to problems that students are unsure of, and whether they can teach new methods to their fellow students.

For the review session, I will have everyone email me problems that they are unsure about solving and go over those in class first. The professor will be present in class as well and will point out any important shortcuts/mistakes/faster ways of solving/another way to look at the problem.

For the second part of the review session, I will prepare some previous midterm questions, write them on the board and have each student write their own attempt at a solution for one problem. Then I will have each student rotate around the room across each problem and have them provide answers or a different way to solve it (potential tricks, shortcuts, etc.) Each student can have a different colored marker on the whiteboard and so the observer can take pictures and keep track of which answers were useful.

After the review and the midterm, the observer can email a survey to the students asking for feedback, including whether the review was helpful or not (on a scale).

The survey will ask for the students for their UNIs to try to guarantee as much participation as possible. The observer will match UNIs and marker colors and will report to the teacher if there is a connection between students' reactions to the assignment and their participation and collaboration during the review session.

2. Timeline


One-two weeks before the exam, I will send out an email to all the students to let them know that there will be a review session and that there will be an observer for the second session. We will schedule it then depending on everyone's availability.

The observer will email students the survey right after the midterm on March 13th, Thursday, so that we can accurately gauge which resources were the most helpful during the studying. It's also better to send the survey after the exam, as students may be less likely to reply to surveys the week before the exam.

Week
To do
Week of Feb 24th
Professor emails students to see which homework problems they'd like the TA to go over in the review session in detail.
Week of March 3rd
Brenda tells students about the review session on March 6th, Thursday, and lets the professor know
that there will be an observer, and that the session will be videotaped.
March 6th
Observation of class
1:00pm - Class begins
Begin by going over solutions to the unsure homework problems (5 total)

2pm - Have students start the activity with some midterm practice problems from the previous year.

2:50pm - Class ends
Follow-up
After the midterm on Thursday March 13th, an anonymous, mandatory survey will be administered through SurveyMonkey and students will be given 24 hours to complete it.
There will be a reminder sent out the following Monday if some have not submitted it yet.

Survey Questions:


How did this review session help you prepare for the midterm exam?

On a scale of 1-5 how helpful was:
- Explanation of homework problems
- Listening to other student's explanations and questions

What was the most useful aspect of this assignment?
What do you think could have been changed?
Please rate how likely you are to use the following resources to study (same 1-5 scale)
Jun Shao/lecture notes & handouts/peers/other textbooks (please list)/Math stackexchange and related sites