January 24 Day 322: In the Details

I am always surprised when students, even great students, neglect to read instructions.

Is it from computer fatigue? The class is delivered online. The book is available online. The assignment is posted online. If they did well on previous assignments, why not just do the same thing and spend less time online?

Is it from distraction? The beeps and buzzes of notifications from texts, chats, weather warnings, and news alerts is a constant in their lives. Finding uninterrupted time to think, plan, and learn is a real challenge.

Maybe it is the size of their screen? I know that my ability to concentrate when reading is directly proportional to the size of the screen. I should never read important messages on my phone. The same probably goes for homework assignments.

The hopeful lesson learned by my students? Paying attention to the details is worth their time. A small oversight early on is easily corrected. Some will get it immediately. Others will be too distracted to even notice.

Published by Jenny Quinn

Mathematician. Mother. Wife. Leader. I am a professor of mathematics at the University of Washington Tacoma. Mother of Anson and Zachary. Wife to Mark. President of the Mathematical Association of America.

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