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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


Function Grapher

 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

5 stars
Content Quality: 5 stars
Effectiveness: 5 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Aug 17, 2001 by Mathematics
Overview: This is a very full-featured Java applet function grapher.
Learning Goals: Function Grapher eases the burden on the student in any learning situation involving functions by providing a quick graph of the function or functions in question.
Target Student Population: High school and college students in mathematics, science, or engineering.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: The user should understand the relation between a function and its graph.
Type of Material: Simulation.
Technical Requirements: Java-enabled browser.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: Function Grapher does all the usual things flawlessly, and gives the user good control over the appearance of the graph while doing so. It employs standard syntax and provides a wide variety of functions, including logical operators. In addition to the basics, Function Grapher graphs sequences and sums of functions, has excellent zoom in/out features including a zoom box, and a nice trace feature that is useful for solving equations. The documentation is very clear and thorough.
Concerns: None.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: This would be a great tool in any algebra/trig or calculus class. Students can quickly explore the relation between a function and its graph, and examine the graphical effect of changing the function. The ability to graph sequences and sums of functions would be of great value in a calculus class. The trace tool would make solving equations graphically a breeze.
Concerns: None.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The use of Function Grapher is completely intuitive. Zoom in/out, tick marks and axis scales are all easily controlled and do what one would expect. Syntax is standard, and is explained at length for the new user.
Concerns: None.