Students are provided with exponential expressions that are categorized as Easier, Middle, Difficult, or Random. Students use the exponent rules to simplify the expressions. Easy problems require the use of one exponent rule. Difficult problems may require the use of up to four rules. Students can check their answer or ask for a hint if they are unable to simplify on their own.
The student will learn by practicing the following exponent rules: the product rule, the quotient rule, the power rule, and the zero exponent rule.
Target Student Population:
Intermediate to College Algebra Students
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Students should understand what an exponent is and have an understanding of the four rules mentioned above.
Type of Material:
This is an interactive Java applet.
This material should be used as re-enforcement for the exponent rules.
A JAVA 2 plug-in is required.
Evaluation and Observation
Students can pick the desired skill level they feel comfortable with. Hints are given when students click on the hint button. Very easy instructions to follow.
Although the quotient rule is used, most students are told a problem is not considered simplified if it contains a negative exponent. Instructions should be given to students explaining that they will have negative exponents in their answers and therefore, may not be considered completely simplified.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
This is a great practice tool that reinforces the exponent rules. Students are able to decide if they should add, subtract or multiply the powers by using the rules. Feedback is given instantaneously and helpful hints are given when the student is not successful.
Again, students may be confused that they will have problems that have negative exponents in their final answer.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The program is easy to follow. The instructions are clear and precise.