This site contains a tool that allows a user to check solutions to calculus exercises that involve taking derivatives. It helps practicing by showing all the steps in differentiation process. The tool supports computing multiple derivatives as well as partial derivatives of functions of several variables. Implicit differentiation and calculating roots/zeros is also available.
Type of Material:
Drill and Practice
This site can be used by students who want to check their work or get help as they are learning how to use the rules of differentiation.
Works on any browser.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
Students will learn the step-by-step process of finding the derivative of a function.
Target Student Population:
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Understanding of the derivative.
This site allows students to enter any function and will compute the derivative of the function. It shows each of the steps and when the user hovers over a step it explains the derivative rule that has been used. It simplifies the expression and graphs the function and its derivative on the same xy-plane. It can handle nth order derivatives, implicitly defined functions, and functions of several variables.
There are a large number of advertisements throughout the page that can be very distracting. Some of these ads are video ads that play automatically. Although the site is free, the ads are a hefty price to pay.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
Outside of the straightforward use of the site to calculate derivatives, it also contains a “Practice” tab that generates examples for the students to try by themselves. A student can use these to practice and evaluate whether they have achieved the learning outcome of finding a derivative using the derivative rules.
The practice problems are randomly generated. It would be better if it started easy and progressively got more difficult as the students demonstrates the mastery of the easier functions.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The instructions and sample functions are clear enough so that the students should easily be able to use this tool. The graphing tool is simple to read and adjust and the function entry is standard. The output is clearly written and the steps are informative.
Since the ads are so aggressive, the site takes quite a while to load. If the student can focus on the center of the page, then it is fine, but a student who easily gets distracted will wander to the large number of ads.
Search by ISBN?
It looks like you have entered an ISBN number. Would you like to search using what you have
entered as an ISBN number?
Searching for Members?
You entered an email address. Would you like to search for members? Click Yes to continue. If no, materials will be displayed first. You can refine your search with the options on the left of the results page.