Roads Up Mountains

I was mountain biking up the 2060 switchbacks when I glanced up to the left.  The edge of my road loomed steeply.  “Wow, that’s high” I said to myself, imaging how hard it would be to scramble up the 120 feet of brush and rock with my bike on my back. I memorized a few landmarks and kept pedaling.  I was there in a short and easy time.  No surprise, that is why they build switched-back roads, to change a hard, nearly impossible ascent into a series of gentle inclines.

The analog to course planning holds.  We design a series of small incremental learning opportunities that, if followed, get our students up the mountain of knowledge.  Each step is “easy.”  Yet, requires effort.  If a student falters (stops pedaling) they stop or slide backwards.  By working steadily, they will achieve the goals of the course.  That is what the quizzes, homework, tests and projects are all about.


About jrh794

I am a sixty-five year old math instructor at Southern Oregon University. I taught at the College of the Siskiyous in Weed California for twenty-six years. Prior to that I worked as a computer programmer, carpenter and in various other jobs. I graduated from Rice University in 1967 and have a MS in Operations Research from Stanford. In the past I have hand-built a stone house and taken long solo bicycle tours. Now I ride my mountain bike and play golf for recreation.
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