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Peer Review

MSTE Lessons - Math, Science & Technology



Overall Numeric Rating:

4 stars
Content Quality: 5 stars
Effectiveness: 5 stars
Ease of Use: 4 stars
Reviewed: Nov 29, 2004 by Mathematics
Overview: The Office for Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education (MSTE) is a
division of the College of Education at the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign. The MSTE lessons site contains a collection of high school
lessons that use the Internet in significant ways.
Type of Material: Lessons with pertinent pedagogical descriptions and Interactive java applets;
lessons that employ technology in various ways.
Recommended Uses: individual lessons on a specific topic, sometimes with applications to science.
Technical Requirements: Java enabled browser. The individual applets and authors seem to have differing
requirements. Some applets ran on older MAC browsers and others did not.
Identify Major Learning Goals: The quoted goal of MSTE is to serve as a model-builder for innovative,
standards-based, technology-intensive mathematics and science instruction at the
K-16 levels. The materials are designed to integrate math and/or science and
technology in the teaching/learning process.
Target Student Population: K-16 students, but the emphasis is primarily on high school students.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Appropriate arithmetic, geometry or algebra course. Some familiarity with
applets ? interfaces can be somewhat obscure.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: While the lessons have been developed by various authors and at various times,
the overall quality is excellent. In many instances the applet source codes are
available. (See related reviews of: MSTE, MSTE Java Applets; and MSTE
Curriculum Modules?Math, Science & Technology.)
Concerns: The lessons are not identified with regard to grade level. Since this is a
collection from different authors, content, style and technical requirements
vary from lesson to lesson.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The materials on the whole are very well done. The lessons have been developed
with descriptions of the problem, connections to standards, examples of use,
references, and more. The lessons feature the use of technology and in some
cases combine math and science; some lessons include notes to the teacher
regarding how to best use the lesson.
Concerns: none

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: The lessons often include instructions for the teacher. The applets are
generally simple and uncluttered with a strong visual effect. The lessons open
in new windows making site navigation efficient; there is also a site search
Concerns: The level of instructions or background explanations varies from lesson to
lesson. Similarly variable are the technical requirements and corresponding
ability to run the material on a variety of systems.
The lessons are not labeled according to grade level.
Some links are broken and need to be updated.

Other Issues and Comments:

Creative Commons:
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States