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Peer Review

Sine Wave Geometry



Overall Numeric Rating:

4 stars
Content Quality: 4 stars
Effectiveness: 5 stars
Ease of Use: 4 stars
Reviewed: Jun 20, 2001 by Mathematics
Overview: This is a module with an interactive Java applet illustrating the sine function. The module includes an exercise for students to perform.
Type of Material: Interactive Java animation, with problem for students to solve,
Technical Requirements: Browser supporting Java
Identify Major Learning Goals: To help students understand the sine function as a function defined on the circle (rather than just opposite/hypothenuse in a right triangle).
Target Student Population: High school students in advanced trigonometry. College students in Precalculus,
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: The user need only be able to read instructions and use a mouse. The exercise will not have much meaning unless the students are already engaged in learning about the trigonometric functions as "circular functions."

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: Inventive animation of sine function; interesting exercise with several different solutions.
Concerns: Mouse control of movable elements in image is rough.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: Shows students the sine function as it "really is." Doing the exercise is hard without understanding the principle, i.e that the point is moving at constant linear speed around the circle, and that increasing diameter decreases frequency,
Concerns: Some students may have trouble grasping this point. For them some preliminary questions may need to be inserted.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: The controls are self-explanatory, but see below.
Concerns: The use of the "up"and other keys is not clearly indicated in the applet..