The Office for Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education (MSTE) is a division of the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The MSTE Curriculum Modules site contains a collection of fully developed high school curriculum modules that use the Internet in significant ways. There are currently 15 modules in Mathematics and 6 modules in Science; in addition, there are approximately two dozen additional modules that have been created by instructors and/or Education students. The learning modules here are web-based, technology intensive lessons focusing on mathematics and science in an applied context. They have been developed for teachers, by teachers, aligned with the Illinois State Learning Standards and the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Standards. Some of the lessons are designed to last over several days, some only for a class period.
The quoted goal of MSTE is to serve as a model-builder for innovative, standards-based, technology-intensive mathematics and science instruction at the K-16 levels. The materials are designed to integrate math and/or science and technology in the teaching/learning process.
Target Student Population:
High school faculty and students.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Appropriate arithmetic, geometry or algebra course. Some familiarity with applets ? interfaces can be somewhat obscure.
Type of Material:
Curriculum modules for various topics with pertinent pedagogical descriptions and Interactive java applets; lessons that employ technology (such as Excel spreadsheets) in various ways.
curriculum module of study
Java enabled browser. The individual applets and authors seem to have differing requirements. Some applets ran on older MAC browsers and others did not.
Evaluation and Observation
While the modules have been developed by various authors and at various times, the overall quality is excellent. In many instances the applet source codes are available. (See related reviews of: MSTE, MSTE Java Applets; and MSTE Lessons?Math, Science & Technology.) Most modules contain information on standards, lesson structure and development, lesson activities, lesson extensions, in which classes this module may be applied, and contact information.
Since this is a collection from different authors, content, style and technical requirements vary from lesson to lesson.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The materials on the whole are very well done. The modules have been developed with descriptions of the problem, connections to standards, examples of use, lesson structure and development, references, and more. The modules feature the use of technology (such as Excel spreadsheets) and in some cases combine math and science; some lessons include notes to the teacher regarding how to best use the lesson. There is a link to Interactive Projects and an associated set of Math Tools in the form of online conversion applets for use with the modules.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The modules include descriptions of the material and instructions for the teacher. The entire set of lessons is fully explained and annotated. There is a module search engine available.
Since the modules open in the same window and there are no links for returning to Home, navigation back to the module home page is a bit cumbersome.