http://www.comfsm.fm/~dleeling/math/algebra/m61/html/m61q5.html

Sixteen students took test five with an average score of 6.3 out of 19 with a standard deviation of 5.54. The high score was a 17 and the low score was a 0. The item analysis follows, with the number correct shown and the percentage out of 16 given:

T5 |
Corr |
Corr/16 |

1a | 5 | 0.31 |

1b | 3 | 0.19 |

1c | 5 | 0.31 |

1d | 5 | 0.31 |

2 | 3 | 0.19 |

3 | 3 | 0.19 |

4a | 5 | 0.31 |

4b | 4 | 0.25 |

4c | 5 | 0.31 |

4d | 2 | 0.13 |

In general, as has been the case throughout the term, students did poorly on this examination. Of note that that questions 4a and 4b involved substitution into formulas which were given. The inability of eleven students to analyze a function, determine the coefficients, and then substitute those coefficients into a formula is, in my mind, an inability in material below the college algebra level.

Also of note was that 2 and 3 asked only for the name of the shape and did not require calculations. Based on the calculations I saw, a number of students simply did not read the question.

4c was somewhat encouraging in that five students had fully correct graphs. Parabolas opening down seem to be somewhat problematic for students, with only three of eighteen students successfully graphing an inverted parabola on test three.

We are now moving into review, with a review quiz on Tuesday which I will go over on Thursday.

The other day I spoke of the usefulness of Gnuplot, a freely available open source graphing package that should be useful for those MS 100 courses taught in a computer laboratory or where students have their own laptops. The following is an image of the functions in question one and four. The image is tad blurry because I rescaled it using GIMP for purposes of printing for class.

The command sequence for the above is (which I put in a .plt text file and loaded to generate the image):

reset

set border

set xtics 0.5

set ytics 5

set grid

set xzeroaxis lt 2 lw 2

set yzeroaxis lt 2 lw 2

set style line 1 lt 3 lw 3

set style line 2 lt 5 lw 3

set style line 3 lt 12 lw 3

set xrange [-7:4]

set yrange [-20:25]

f(x)=x-6

g(x)=x**2+3*x-18

h(x)=f(x)/g(x)

k(x)=-x**2-3*x+18

plot h(x) ls 1,k(x) ls 2

--

Dana
Lee Ling

Professor

Chair Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

College of Micronesia-FSM

dleeling@comfsm.fm

http://www.comfsm.fm/~dleeling/

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