Maybe this platform is not for the casual/fun learner and I need to find some other awesome, free, world-class math instruction (that would make me so sad). Maybe it needs to be that way because teachers need a strict accountability mechanic to keep their students "honest," I don't know. I do know that developing the skill of looking back through your work to find your mistake is invaluable and should be at least partially rewarded.
I am an adult learner, using KA because I love the mission and enjoy recreational math. I am looking for a fun, relaxed environment to practice and push the boundaries of my knowledge of calculus and beyond. I am not preparing for any kind of exam. Maybe I'm missing something, but when I make a mistake with a squared instead of a cubed, or a negative sign on a long multi-part question with lots of algebra and arithmetic, why do I get no credit? Worse, why do I get no credit for correcting the mistake after combing over my work, finding the problem and typing it in correctly?
This is while studying calculus, mind you, not learning about powers and negative numbers, so if I get the calculus part correct, but make a mistake in the material I've already demonstrated mastery in, it seems a little silly to give no credit, doesn't it? *And why would I bother trying to fix my algebraic or arithmetic mistake* since doing so would take almost as long as to go on and start another question? I'm not as keen on getting 100% as others I've seen here are, I'm interested in the Mastery system more closely reflecting my actual understanding of the material I'm studying.
As an example of an unrelated skill causing me to show a "lack of mastery", I get a question with a couple parts, do the calculus part correctly, but because I'm a little fuzzy on my right and left (I know that's weird), I get the whole question wrong (5-10 minutes of my time)? That makes me want to stop using the platform for a while. What other conclusion could I draw other than:
a) (as the platform suggests) I don't have mastery over the Calculus I'm currently studying
b) I'm a human, who makes mistakes with the minute details (which Sal himself gets to show himself correcting in the videos), and my mastery of the material is fine.
Even if the mastery system were to stay as it is, in my opinion the biggest problem with giving 0% for any mistake is *it's not fun*. It leads me to keeping Wolfram Alpha open in the background so I can "check" my answer before submitting it. The maddeningly harsh mechanic that demands perfection and discourages going back through to find the mistake gives me stress, not learning. If there were a setting (Zen mode? Relaxed learning?) I could control, my joy would increase and I would rely less on WA to check my work. Thank you!