Main text Reading the main text is certainly the first and the main thing you need to do in the course. The text is basically a textbook adapted to the web form. However, the usual textbooks are for students who attend lectures. Necessary adjustments, such as additional guidance and help, are made for students who study by themselves. Moreover, extensive links are provided between different sections, which vividly illustrate the relations between various concepts, results, examples, and theories.
Exercises It is always very important to practice what you have learned. In a web based course, the exercises play an even more important role. They make up for the relative lack of interaction between the students and instructors inherent in web based courses. There are two types of exercises. First, there are exercises carefully designed to help you practice concrete problems and think about the concepts introduced in the main text. Second are the theoretical exercises that extend the material on the main text. Full answers are given for virtually all the exercises. The answers also contain lots of comments and discussions, which are often small bits and tips that are usually mentioned by instructors in their lectures but not appearing in the textbooks.
The students are expected to do as many exercises as they can and at least read through all the exercises and answers. They should also compare their answers to the ones given on the web, because often solving problems in the right way helps you better understand the material.
Some face to face meeting between instructors and students is always necessary. On the other hand, being a mostly web based and self paced course, the meetings are supposed to be less frequent. Currently we plan one meeting every two weeks. This is the minimum number we should have. So please come by all means. If there is need to meet more often, we will make ajustments during the semester.
Besides describing the materials to read for the subsequent two weeks, we will also have quizzes during the tutorial sessions. This is the opportunity for you to test yourself through some more sophisticated problems (as compared to multiple choices).
To make the chatting sessions more effective, the topics under discussion will be fixed. For more details, see the schedule. If you would like to talk about things out of the specified topics, please post to the bulletin board.
You may post any problem at any time. You are recommended to check out the new postings at least once a day.
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As substitute for homework, there are quizzes and on-line test. The on-line test is usually given once for every chapter. It consists mostly of true or false type or other multiple choice questions.
One midterm. We will need to discuss on the specific arrangements for the midterm when the time is near.
One final. You will probaby take the final exam together with the regular students.