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Peer Review

NLVM - Factor Tree



Overall Rating:

4.5 stars
Content Quality: 4.5 stars
Effectiveness: 4 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Jul 11, 2006 by Mathematics
Overview: This virtual manipulative allows you to construct factor tree(s) of prime
factors for one or two numbers, and then from the prime factorization of two
numbers you are asked to identify the Least Common Multiple (LCM) and the
Greatest Common Factor (GCF) of the two given numbers using a Venn Diagram.
Learning Goals: To find the prime factors of one or two numbers.
To find the greatest common factor and least common multiple of two given
numbers using a Venn Diagram.
Target Student Population: Grade School, Middle School, High School (basic math), College (developmental
math and elementary teacher education)
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Identification of prime numbers and factors as well as an understanding of the
definitions of least common multiple and greatest common factor.
Type of Material: Java Applet
Recommended Uses: Reinforcement of prime factorization using a factor tree. Finding the greatest
common factor and/or the least common multiple.
Technical Requirements: Java-enabled browser.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: This applet allows the user to find the prime factorization of either one or two
numbers. If two numbers are used, the user can also find the greatest common
factor and/or least common multiple of the two numbers. The user can let the
computer give the number(s) to be factored, or the user can choose his/her own

Activities for the applet are tied to the NCTM standards.

This applet uses Venn Diagrams to show greatest common factors of two numbers or
to find least common multiples. (Great problem solving tool.)
Concerns: If the number itself or one is entered as a factor, “Please enter a different
number” is revealed with no reason as to why a different number should be

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: The user is allowed to visually comprehend the meaning of the greatest common
factor and the least common multiple.

If a composite factor is entered, rectangular boxes are shown around the factor
whereas when prime factors are entered, circles are drawn. This allows the user
to easily recognize prime and composite factors.

Since the student is allowed to enter his own numbers, this may allow him/her to
complete assignments more easily.
Concerns: If the entered greatest common factor or least common multiple is incorrect, no
guidance is given to the user as to how to correct the mistake.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: This applet allows for computer-created or user-created problems.

Teacher Information provides teaching tips for presentation of content as well
as use of this virtual manipulative.

This tool could be used by students to actually work on assigned problems by the
Concerns: none

Other Issues and Comments: