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Peer Review

Manipula Math - Middle School (Geometry)



Overall Numeric Rating:

4.87 stars
Content Quality: 4.8 stars
Effectiveness: 5 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Apr 17, 2003 by Mathematics
Overview: This site is the main site for a collection Java Applets in topics from geometry.

Please see the related reviews of the main href="">class=SpellE>Manipula Math with Java site, as well as the following

  • href=""> class=SpellE>Manipula Math - Calculus

  • href=""> class=SpellE>Manipula Math - Conics

  • href=""> class=SpellE>Manipula Math - Middle School (Geometry)

  • href=""> class=SpellE>Manipula Math - Geometry I

  • href=""> class=SpellE>Manipula Math - Geometry II

  • href=""> class=SpellE>Manipula Math - Trigonometry

  • href=""> class=SpellE>Manipula Math - Vectors

  • href=""> class=SpellE>Manipula Math - Complex Numbers

Type of Material: Simulation and animation.
Recommended Uses: These applets could be used as classroom demonstration tools or as aids to students problem solving on homework assignments.
Technical Requirements: Requires a "Java-enabled" browser.
Identify Major Learning Goals: The JAVA applets are designed to allow the user to explore various concepts and applications in geometry.
Target Student Population: Students in a Euclidean geometry course. These applets are particularly useful for teacher education math courses.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: The applets are self-explanatory for students in a geometry course.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.8 stars
Strengths: There are 91 geometry applets in Manipula Math located in the Middle School category. To facilitate the selection and use of these applets, the geometry applets were listed on MERLOT in two subcategories: Manipula Math - Geometry 1 and Manipula Math - Geometry 2. Each of these has a separate MERLOT review. Topics in Geometry I include angles, parallel lines, congruent figures and triangles, similar polygons, and area. Topics included in Geometry II are circles and the Pythagorean Theorem. Please see the separate reviews of these subcategories for more details:

  • href=""> class=SpellE>Manipula Math - Geometry I

  • href=""> class=SpellE>Manipula Math - Geometry II

Concerns: The Middle School title for this group of geometry applets is misleading as the majority of the concepts are also appropriate for students at the high school level, as well as for college students in developmental mathematics or elementary teacher education. The instructor may choose to direct students to the Geometry 1 and Geometry 2 sites to avoid the use of the Middle School reference.

There are some grammatical errors in the applets. In general, these errors are obvious and do not significantly hinder the effectiveness of the applets.

Any additional concerns are noted in the individual reviews.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: This site provides a truly excellent teaching tool. The modules are easy to use, have a standard interface, and most come with an explanation section.
Concerns: Any concerns are noted in the individual reviews.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: Most of the applets have controls that are easy to use, clearly labeled, and self-explanatory in function. Hence, the operation of the applets is fairly intuitive. A short explanation section is always found at the beginning of the more complex applets. Available options give the user good control over the appearance of the graphical output of the modules.

A single user license is available for use offline. Network/site licenses are available for schools, teachers, and researchers. These licenses allow the purchaser to place the applets on home pages and to make changes to the applets by editing the HTML files. The license may be purchased for each of the Geometry 1 and Geometry 2 applets, or for the entire Manipula Math Applet Collections.
Concerns: Any concerns are noted in the individual reviews.