[MOSAIC-news] Friday's M-Cast: Identifying Modeling Misconceptions

Daniel Kaplan kaplan at macalester.edu
Sun Feb 5 08:11:03 CST 2012

Project MOSAIC M-Cast
Friday 10 Feb. at 2pm EST (1pm CST, 11am PST)

Identifying Modeling Misconceptions
Led by Rebekah Isaak and Andrew Zieffler, University of Minnesota

What do your students learn about mathematical modeling?  No doubt you have
stories of
success, occasions when a student has realized the power of mathematics to
illuminate a real-world situation.

But we want to hear about your FAILURES.

As part of the Project MOSAIC initiative to develop a modeling concept
inventory, we're collecting ideas about student misconceptions.  A "concept
inventory" is a multiple-choice test of a student's working knowledge of a
subject.  In a concept inventory, students are choosing between a correct
answer arranged among several commonly held misconceptions.

One way that we're identifying common misconceptions to is to exam student
responses to open-ended essay questions in test sessions that we
administer.  But we also want to draw on the large experience of teachers
who encounter student misconceptions on a daily basis.

Help us out.  Join us in Friday's conversation and share your stories of
the ways in which students just don't get it, the misconceptions that
students bring from other courses, and the things that sometimes make you
dispair at the end of a semester.

To set things up, here is your assignment.  Think about a course you teach
that involves modeling (even if modeling is not the main theme of the
course) and a couple of modeling-related concepts from the course.  In
approaching teaching these concepts, what are the student misconceptions
that you anticipate?  What are the misconceptions that come up that
surprise you?  If you like, jot down your ideas and email them in advance
to the M-Cast moderator, Danny Kaplan (kaplan at macalester.edu).  We look
forward to seeing where the conversation will go from there.

Instructions for joining the M-Cast are at

M-CASTS are presented using the ReadyTalk computer conferencing system:

   1. Direct your browser to the ReadyTalk web
server<http://www.readytalk.com/> and
   enter access code 2923887. This provides the video component of the M-CAST.
   2. For audio, telephone 866-740-1260 and at the voice prompt, enter the
   same access code: 2923887.

The audio is two-way: a conference call that befits the seminar style of
the event.
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