Stan Jones responds:
I am pleased that my editorial prompted letters from the membership.
To specifically reply to Drs. Cottle and Kaplan,
let me first observe that they are doing -- or suggesting -- exactly
what I urged: explore the reasons why students don't learn, and then
develop strategies to overcome these barriers. That is teaching.
It is not solely our job to make the students learn, but it is not
entirely their job, either. It is a shared responsibility, and the
more we know about how students learn, the better we can succeed at
our part of the job. I would include as part of "our share" of this
responsibility the work that Paul Cottle is doing, namely to consider
strategies to encourage students to work more outside class.
To address his work more specifically, it occurs to me that the primary
motivation behind my own studying in freshman physics was the homework
assignment that was collected and graded each week. I have started
to do this in my calculus-based physics class, allowing groups to hand
in a single set. I wonder how many universities still collect and grade
homework. Remedial (non- credit) work as proposed by Kaplan for under-prepared
students is also an option, one that is already used on many campuses,
including my own.
The University of Alabama