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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


Geogebra

by Markus Hohenwarter
 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

5 stars
Content Quality: 5 stars
Effectiveness: 5 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Sep 23, 2008 by Mathematics
Overview: This is an interactive software system that combines geometry construction capability with the capability to graph and manipulate algebraic constructs. The geometrical component of Geogebra allows working with points, vectors, segments, lines, conic sections, and changing them dynamically afterwards. The computer-algebraic feature deals with variables for numbers, vectors and points, finds derivatives and integrals of functions, and performs other symbolic calculations.
Learning Goals: To allow for extensive geometric constructions and algebraic graphs that can be saved in an interactive format.
Target Student Population: First year calculus, geometry, and pre-calculus level students
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: None
Type of Material: Simulation
Recommended Uses: Instructors and students of calculus, geometry, and pre-calculus
Technical Requirements: Java 1.4.2 or higher

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: GeoGebra is a robust tool for creating geometrical construction along with graphs defined algebraically. The menu provides an extensive list of tools including the standard objects: point, line, angle, circle, arc, perpendicular bisector, and many others. It also has the ability to create graphs from inputted equations. The user can type in his or her own commands or select from about 100 commands such as curvature, ellipse, or perimeter. The presentation style can be easily changed. For example there are five choices for the line style, the thickness can be adjusted, and the color can be selected from a color palette. On top of that GeoGebra has an impressive selection of a CAS (computer algebra system) tools that perform symbolic calculations, find derivatives and integrals of functions, utilize their graphs, etc. The program allows the user to save the work produced in several formats, including a Java based HTML webpage that can be posted on a webpage for students to interact with. The international user can select from a list of around 40 different languages.
Concerns: None

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: Instructors can post GeoGebra created worksheets onto the web for students to explore constructions, properties of functions, graphs, and first semester calculus concepts. Students can also use GeoGebra for either individual or team projects. An instructor can also use this tool to demonstrate concepts during lecture. The Geobebra home page links to a Wiki where dozens of instructors have posted their GeoGebra based lessons. This Wiki contains a table of contents that makes it easy to use what others have already created. Because GeoGebra has been translated every commonly spoken language, this is a truly international tool.
Concerns: A capability to work with matrices and other linear algebra objects would be a definite plus.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: Since GeoGebra is a menu based tool, it is easy to use. Most of the features are intuitive and there is an extensive documentation site. There is also a support forum that includes thousands of posts. If a student or faculty member runs into any difficulties, they are bound to find a solution either by browsing the forum or by posting a question and getting an answer from another user.
Concerns: Even with a latest version of Java installed on a client computer, GeoGebra still requires some time to load.