As an English teacher, I'm supposed to be concerned with kinds of literacy, not numeracy. Nevertheless, I remain concerned by the lack of math savvy of many of my students. Could this be why there's a student loan problem?
Our realtor informed us--with a sly look--that he had checked out our ratings on Rate my Professor. Not surprisingly, I am liked a lot or disliked--with no middle. The more mellow Mr FS has less love, but also less dislike. Being a sensitive sort, I haven't checked out my ratings. Mr FS did though and came to me with a surprising comment.
A lot of students complain that there "aren't enough points" in my class. Because students were having trouble with the traditional ABC and then having trouble with 85% and 78% etc (because they couldn't figure out how to compute an 85% of an assignment worth 20% of their grade), I simplified. Each assignment is now worth what it is worth out of 100 points. We have a 25% exam and a 20% project and so on. Add up all the points and you have your grade, on a ten point scale. Easy-peasy, or so I thought.
I have heard mutterings from anxious students that assignments weren't "worth enough" and that they wished they could get "more points." Mr FS suggested that I multiply by 10: each assignment is worth--instead of 20 or 25 points out of 100--200 or 250 points out of 1000. I had thought that would be unnecessarily complicated, but...if that's what they want, that's what I'll try.
Is it just a psychological issue to think an assignment worth 250 points out of 1000 is "worth more" than 25 points out of 100? Or is something else going on?
Have you ever encountered similar math issues?