Homework on the UTexas system:
A Student Guide
The University of Texas provides us access to a website that was initially designed for their university students. Now it is used by thousands of high school students all across the country. At HSMSE, the system is used by several science and mathematics courses.
All of the problems that we assign from their large question database come from the most commonly used high school textbooks. We have access to the answers to every question and can change the points assigned and due dates, at any time.
At first you may experience difficulty with the high precision that the UTexas website requires. You may also feel frustrated because guessing is penalized, and feel that your effort is not being rewarded.
These are common experiences, but we continue using the system because: 1) your problem solving approach will improve and by November most students are earning scores above 90%, 2) seniors frequently praise the problem solving skills that they developed by completing UTexas homework, and 3) we believe it develops the independent learning skills that are crucial for your success in college. Online homework systems are becoming the norm in university math, science, and engineering courses, and we’d like you to be well prepared.
Here are some tips that will ensure your success:
- 1. Look at your assignments at least a day before they are due, and ask your classmates and teachers for help.
- 2. Print your assignments on paper so that you can better study them and write notes.
- 3. On the Due Date, don’t leave school until you have at least reviewed all the problems. Get help from a teacher before you leave.
- 4. Come to tutoring, held regularly by your teacher after school for 30 to 60 minutes.
- 5. If you have questions while at home, contact your classmates via the Yahoo or Google group that your teacher has set up. Almost always, others share your questions, and a successful approach may already have been found and shared.
- 6. For every assignment, the solutions are posted at midnight as soon as the due date has passed. Look over previous solutions as they are often give clues to the current assignment.
- 7. Do your work on paper. If there are technical problems with the system, you can get credit for your work. It also lets you, and your teacher, see where your errors are.
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