- Start early for every assignment. Do NOT wait until an hour before it's due to start. If you start late and find out you have trouble with the problems, then you will not have enough time to get help. (Your instructor may not see your email message at 11:30PM on the due date because even your superpowered math professor needs time to sleep.)
- Take advantage of the instant feedback from the system and re-examine your work if it is not accepted (also see below on guessing).
- Do NOT guess. If you do not understand the problem, check out the examples in your book or your notes, and try to figure out the questions first. Guessing RARELY works! Even if it gets you the correct answer in those rare occasions, it doesn't help you learn the material for the test or quiz.
- Ask for help when you need it. Use the "Email instructor" button when asking for help.
- For efficiency, always send the email from the problem page that you are having trouble with, so that your instructor knows which problem you are working on (and you do NOT need to describe the problem itself because the system will add a link to that problem to the email message).
- Do not send one email with 5 or 10 different questions on different problems in it. Send these questions in SEPARATE emails.
- If you run into any technical issues, please email me directly and I will get it resolved for you as quickly as I can. You are also welcome to stop by my office (Room 320 in the Science Center) if you have any questions. Check out my schedule for my availability at http://math.marywood.edu/usr/czhang/schedule.html
The Art of Asking Questions
- Although we encourage you to ask questions as much as you can, you must do so AFTER you have tried your best at solving the problem yourself.
- Avoid sending emails that simply say "I have no idea how to do this problem", or "I don't know where to start" without describing what you know and what you don't. If you truly do not know anything about that problem, you should go to your instructor's office for help instead, because most likely email exchange won't be enough to address the issue.
- Be specific on what you are having trouble with. For example, "I got the equation set up like this, but I don't know how to solve it", or "I integrated this function and found the antiderivative to be this. Is that right?"
- If your answer was rejected and you think you did the problem right, DON'T just say "why isn't my answer accepted?" (the answer to that question is almost certainly "because it is wrong", and very rarely the answer would be "because there's a mistake in the computer code").
Instead, describe (precisely and concisely) what steps you took to arrive at your answer in your email and ask "do you see anything wrong with my approach or calculation?"