This is a 41- slide Power Point presentation with audio designed for Pre-Calculus Algebra students to help them better grasp the terminology and concepts of parabolas including focus, directrix, axis of symmetry, and equations of the form (x-h)^2=4p(y-k) et al. This is one of several modules created by the same author. See other reviews of Logarithm Change of Base and Inverse Functions. A common introductory page with links to each module would be useful for outside users.
To provide an audio/visual demonstration of parabolas and their various features and characteristics.
Target Student Population:
High school and college students
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Basic algebra and some familiarity with a graphing calculator
Type of Material:
Student tutorial or classroom supplement.
Macromedia Flash Movie Player.
The audio files do not perform effectively with a dial-up connection.
Evaluation and Observation
The PowerPoint presentation with audio is well done and covers the geometric definition of a parabola thoroughly in its 41 slides. Graphs are shown of y = +/- x^2 and x = +/- y^2. The equations (x-h)^2=4p(y-k) and (y-k)^2=4p(x-h) are presented and explored along with their graphs.
The concluding slide(s) would have been enhanced by a complete graph/diagram of a parabola and a summary of the key points covered in the presentation.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The audio/visual presentation is a fairly self-contained unit on the nature of a parabola and its equation. Focus, directrix, axis of symmetry are explained and illustrated. The audio track gives additional explanations rather than just reading the slide content. The slides include text, graphs and calculator.
There is no opportunity for interaction on the part of the user other than navigating forwards or backwards through the slides. Deliberate use of 'opposite of x' rather than 'negative x' may confuse some users. Brief comment on the existence of other conic sections or their applications would be useful.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The presentation provides navigation buttons to move forward or backward between slides. Nice use of color to identify stationary and moving points. Good, slow, clear narration.
There is no jump feature to allow users to return to the beginning of the presentation or to a specified slide.