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Teaching Calculus, exercises: just hints or worked out?

  1. Jan 16, 2017 #1


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    Dear all,

    I'm currently teaching calculus courses with Stewart's book. I was wondering what other teachers their experiences are with giving fully worked out answers to the exercises versus giving just hints and the final answer. I have the feeling that the last approach activates students more, and that the first approach makes students cling on to the worked out answers too much. What is your experience?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 16, 2017 #2
    I've taught from Stewart, and I prefer a mix. Some students will need a fairly complete solution to lots of problems, but other students do better with only hints. Also, as a student progresses in mastery of a given section, they should be able to progress from needing more complete solutions to being able to solve problems with only hints.

    I recommend getting a feel for where your students really are and adjusting the mix to best meet their needs. I try and include at least one more fully worked solution of each major problem type, and at least one case of only offering hints. The remaining balance depends on the need.
  4. Jan 17, 2017 #3


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    Thanks for your suggestion. I'll keep that in mind!
  5. Jan 17, 2017 #4
    It depends on the problem too. There are some real doozies in Stewart.
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