Science:MER/Hints

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Hints are a critical aspects of the MER project. They constitute our attempt to support student learning by encouraging the students to work on the problems on their own instead of simply copying procedures.

Criteria for good hints

A good hint should be:

  • Something that helps the student move forward with the problem while revealing as little as possible.
  • Something that focuses on a conceptual understanding of the underlying mathematics instead of highlighting procedural methods.

I added a hint, how do I flag it for review?

When there is more than one hint present, it is worth adding in the discussion page a mention of which hint should be reviewed, and add additional RH flags if appropriate.

Quality control - reviewing hints

Once a hint has been flagged for review (with a RH flag), a contributor who has NOT worked on that hint can review its content. There are two possible outcomes of the review:

  • Bad: for a hint statement that contains mistakes, typos or formatting errors OR for a hint that doesn't support well student learning (see the criteria for good hints above). In this case, the reviewer has two choices:
    • make some modifications and leave the RH flag to invite another contributor to review the new work;
    • OR leave the work as is and change the RH flag into a QBH flag to signal the problem to other contributors. In this case, the reviewer is asked to write the reasons for the bad flag in the discussion page to justify and inform other contributors of his decision and the work that needs to be done.
  • Good: for a hint that is correct, well formatted and support student learning. In this case, the reviewer change the RH flag into a QGH flag.

A third possible outcome would be that the reviewer thinks there should be more hints. In that case, the reviewer can add the hints him/herself and flag appropriately (see above) or make sure that the Question page has an active CH flag and explain what kind of hint you are looking for in the discussion page.