This is a collection of over 50 interactive videos that present the topics of calculus. After the student is given a short explanation, the student is asked to work out problems or steps to a problem. The site is a subsite of a collection of courses in mathematics and other subjects.
Type of Material:
The site can be used as a main source of learning for an online class or as a resource for an online supplemented course in Calculus I.
Flash Player 7.0 or higher and a Java enabled browser
Identify Major Learning Goals:
To learn Calculus I through by viewing videos and solving problems along the way.
Target Student Population:
First quarter or first semester calculus students.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
This site contains a comprehensive collection of over 50 lessons from first semester calculus. It begins with a set of 42 interactive videos for student who wants to review pre calculus first. Unlike most sites that contain video lectures, this one is contains interactivity. Partway through each lesson, the video stops and the student is asked a question that accesses whether the student is able to apply what is being discussed. The questions are an assortment of multiple choice and fill in the blank questions. After every four or five lessons there is a homework set where the student can receive instant feedback on progress. The videos are also captioned. The lessons are matched with most available textbooks so that a student can click on their book’s title and then go to the section of the book that the student is learning. The corresponding video lesson automatically pops up. There is also a complete collection in Spanish. There is also a parallel site that includes the AP Calculus AB material only. This collection is designed well and matches the curriculum and order of most calculus classes.
In Lesson 17 on Derivatives, there is an error when the voice says “…y is about 4…” when it should say “…y is about 0.4…” This is spoken correctly in the Spanish translation.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
This site can be used as a replacement to face-to-face lectures for on online course. Since the topics are comprehensive it can serve as a main resource for students. The homework set and the frequent pauses to check for understanding will ensure that the student is not just passively viewing the videos without learning.
The site can also be used as an excellent supplement for a traditional Calculus I course.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The site is intuitive to use. The links are well thought out and the navigation of the site is simple. The instructions for the mid-video exercises are clearly presented both with speech and text. The student can right click on the main screen to enlarge the viewing screen. Students can also click on any text from the captions to jump to that point if they want to listen again or skip ahead.
The answers to open-end (not multiple choice) problems can be submitted in different formats and the system grades them correctly.
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