A collection of nine modules based on JAVA applets illustrating basic theorems in plane geometry: Angles on a chord Angles on a chord and center Similar triangles Angles between parallel lines A right kite Another right kite Perpendicular bisectors of a right triangle Incircle Pythagorean triples Most of the modules are organized as questions for students to explore.
Please see the associated reviews of the main href="http://www.merlot.org/artifact/PeerReviewDetail.po?rOid=1010000000000021523"> Geometry Gallery site and the href="http://www.merlot.org/artifact/PeerReviewDetail.po?rOid=1010000000000021522">Advanced Geometry modules.
Type of Material:
Interactive modules based on JAVA applets
Computer with browser supporting JAVA.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
To assist and enhance student's understanding and retention of basic geometry theorems.
Target Student Population:
Beginning students in Plane Geometry.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Some familiarity with elementary geometrical concepts (circle, angle, radius, chord, etc.). Ability to read instructions and to handle a mouse.
Evaluation and Observation
These are the Platonic ideal of interactive geometry modules, streamlined and efficient. The organization as "research questions" makes them ideal for assignment to students. Only "Similar triangles" does not have an explicit goal to explore. "Angles on a chord and center" and "Perpendicular bisectors of a right triangle" are especially recommended. "Pythagorean triples" has several parts and would make a good week or two-week project.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
There is a range of questions, from very elementary to challenging, to suit all levels of students. The modules are very effective bringing to life the geometric phenomena.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
Explanations are clear and useful. A uniform notation standard is used throughout: movable points are highlighted in the same way, etc. Applet functioning is very smooth.
1. A common problem with this kind of software is the representation of measurements by decimals with many, many places. Rounding off (to, say, two places) would assist immediate comprehension. 2. In some applets (e.g. Angles on a Chord) it would be nice if it were easier to move a point on a circle without changing the radius of the circle. 3. Site would be easier to use if there were a "return to main menu" button on each sub-page.