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Peer Review

Differential Equations Videos

by Bernd Schroeder


Overall Numeric Rating:

4.5 stars
Content Quality: 5 stars
Effectiveness: 5 stars
Ease of Use: 3.75 stars
Reviewed: Mar 26, 2009 by Mathematics
Overview: This is a collection of 53 videos that supplement a course in ordinary differential equations.
Type of Material: tutorial
Recommended Uses: These videos can be used as a supplement for a course in ordinary differential equations. Student, who missed a lecture either physically or mentally, can view the corresponding video to see a presentation on this topic.
Technical Requirements: A high speed internet connection that can download a several megabyte video.
Identify Major Learning Goals: To learn the theory and see examples of differential equations
Target Student Population: Students in elementary differential equations courses.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: A first year of calculus.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The videos represent a comprehensive supplement to an elementary differential equations course. Although they are intended to accompany a textbook written by the author, they rarely refer to the textbook and are standard enough to accompany any textbook. The left hand side of each video is the author presenting a lecture on the video’s topic and the right hand side is a set of slides. The mathematical concepts are well-explained and the examples are quite detailed and thorough. Both the personal lecture and the slides are professionally done and delivered at an appropriate pace.
Concerns: None

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The videos can be assigned either to students who missed the lecture or who want to reinforce their understanding of the day’s topics. If an instructor does not have time to cover a topic or the proof of a theorem from elementary differential equations, student can be directed to watch the relevant video. The split screen feature of the player makes it very easy and convenient to follow the presentation if videos are used as a part of self-guided study.
Concerns: None

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 3.75 stars
Strengths: The videos use the Tegrity player. The player makes it easy to navigate through the video. One can pause, fast-forward, click to the next or previous frame, or go to any point of the video by moving a scroll bar.
Concerns: There are no subtitles for these videos, so there is limited access to the visually impaired. The file sizes of the videos are very large, resulting in long download times. When using Internet Explorer, the user must click “ok” to get through several security warnings when downloading the videos.