If your score on this on-line assignment is 90% or greater, and it is submitted on or before the deadline stated on the assignment, your score on the next in-class paper test will be increased by one point, up to a maximum perfect score.
This 1-point reward will not greatly affect your semester grade, but is intended merely as a small bribe to inspire you to actually do the work, and thus improve whatever skill is the focus of the assignment.
All on-line assignments will be due on a Wednesday, and the on-line assignment will largely duplicate the in-class activity on that Wednesday. Therefore, a 90% score on an on-line assignment could justify not attending class on that particular Wednesday. Alternately, you can attend class on that Wednesday, and practice the same skills.
Each on-line assignment gives narrowly-focused practice with a single skill. In-class paper tests and the similar web-based pre-tests cover a much broader range of topics.
Seven on-line assignments are complete as of 20 January 2012; one more on-line assignment is under construction. Eventually, these on-line options could completely replace classtime on most short days of the week, but Prof McFarland will not reach that objective during the current semester. It is not yet clear which topics can be suitably taught in an on-line environment, but it seems clear that some topics are NOT well-suited for internet learning, such as word-problems and other problems requiring lots of written work.
Each on-line assignment takes Prof McFarland a solid day of sometimes frustrating work de-bugging the scoring software, and once the pressure of the Spring semester begins to weigh upon us, construction on more of these on-line assignments will slow significantly.