Why Workbook in Math is Important?

                                                     By Vic Odarve

Although usually smaller and lighter than textbooks, workbooks serve as an extension in classroom lecture on large class size, determine the quality of teaching and learning topics, and facilitate homework. Math courses with a class size of hundreds of students, which teachers have difficulty to facilitate a good interaction with the students, workbooks effectively filled the inadequacy. Workbooks, being a condensed course outlines from a standard textbook, serve as a teachers’ roadmap in classroom discussion and guide for the students on what topics to follow next. Further, workbook facilitates homework for the students to study at home and allow the teachers to monitor their progress.

Math Workbook

Math Workbook

Unlike in most colleges and universities in western and eastern part of the globe, some African schools allow having larger class sizes. Here, schools allowed 200 to 1500 student class size for the general math courses in 100 levels. For engineering, mathematics 200 and up levels, schools usually have 200-500 students per class. Even with the aid of modern available equipments such as power points or slides and sound devices, a number of students which must listen and do some interaction during discussion already pose a problem. Some failed to catch up the lesson discussed on the presented slides or materials written on the board and others may not hear properly the discussion or explanation. With all these problems, workbook seems to fill up by reviewing and reworking exercises at home. Students who were less fortunate to grasp the discussion must look on the workbook and copy notes from their classmates. A scenario common in big African universities!

Engineering Math Workbooks

Engineering Math Workbooks

Most workbook topics are presented chronologically since math is cumulative. It is written in a clear, precise, and easy to understand as compared to textbooks. Each lesson carefully builds on the concepts students learned previously, with the problems and illustrations discussed steps by steps. Thus, this book guides the students on how the course discussion is pacing. The workbook serves as a road map for the teacher and a helpful aid for substitute teachers. Further, it provides information on the quality of teaching materials that lecturers or teachers must inculcate in the minds of the students, Students, too, would notice what is expected to learn for this semester in Math course.

As this book is also specifically designed for student’s activity at home, workbooks are usually filled with illustrative examples from simple to complex problems presented in clear, step by step manner. Practice problems, which usually followed after the completion of each topic, can be worked out and the answers can be written directly in the book. Often times these practice problems are taken as assignments or homeworks where teachers can follow up at classrooms. Workbooks allow students to compare their solution steps from the classroom lectures; use as reference when they got stuck on the topic discussed; and offer an opportunity for easy learning outside the classroom at the own pace. The homework activities motivate and challenge students; thus math becomes useful and enjoyable…never a dull and boring! The workbook is a haven for gifted students where they can enjoy the challenge of solving the difficult math exercises and problems on their own.

What, then if the teacher is the one who wrote the workbook? The results are simply amazing as workbook and teacher are helping the students in unison! The workbook they are using is the language of his mind…a best picture and the most effective means of transfer of knowledge. Everybody can expect the best results; maximizing the best potential for the good of the students. Workbook and teacher are one! Thus, workbook is necessary in math!

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