Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Issues with doing the homework reported by students

At this point seven students have done the homework and submitted their key via the Web form.  This to show that for those who have yet to have done so, it is do-able.  But it seems there are a variety of stumbling blocks, so I'd like to list them here and give my best guess as to how to resolve them.

Downloading the File

I have been getting some requests to share the file.  They are unnecessary.  All the homeworks are made publicly available.  There *may* be an issue that if you are logged into Google Apps with your Campus account then it won't let you access it because this lies outside the Campus Google Apps.  I'm not sure on this.  I can't test whether it is true or not.  But the simple solution is to do as follows.

Don't be logged into anything.  Click the link to go to the page with the File.  Then go to the File menu and Download it.  You must use real Excel to do this homework.  You can't do it in Google Spreadsheet.

Doing Computations

Some of you have been trained to do arithmetic and algebra on a calculator.  That is okay for figuring out the solution to a question.  But when you enter the solution do the computation in Excel.  Don't enter an approximate solution.  It will say it is incorrect.  Do the calculation precisely.

Working the Algebra

Some students have struggled a little with finding a P.O. allocation in the Edgeworth Box, the homework says this requires a little algebra.  This is where doing the homework with a classmate can help - they can explain what they did.  Or you can post questions to the class site.

After the fact you need to feel comfortable with the algebra.  I expect that in our review tomorrow, students who struggled will ask questions.  That's the point of the activity.  Do note that the midterms will take problems to work from the homework.

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