This site contains a pedagogical module consisting three Questions of the Day and a “write-pair-share activity” involving Florida's population growth.
The task of a student completing this project is to construct a mathematical model and, as a result, develop a deeper understanding of exponential growth.
The learning goal of this site is to investigate through data and develop better understanding of exponential growth.
Target Student Population:
College Algebra and Liberal Arts Mathematics students.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Basic understanding of exponential functions.
Type of Material:
Homework or in class group work.
Works an every browser.
Evaluation and Observation
This module contains a project that is meant to be done by small student teams. The project is based on a data set provided but also requires the use of outside sources such as the U.S. Census Bureau website. This module provides the instructor and students with everything they need in order to complete this activity, including links to the US Census Bureau and CensusScope.
Answering The Questions of the Day makes students aware of the size of the population of their home state (e.g., Florida) and of how fast the population is growing. The write-pair-share activity is designed to bring students to a realization of the dramatic results of population growth rates when projected into the future.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The site clearly explains the intended use of the project, provides a suggested format and time frame, and even recommends the size of the class and a student group to work on the project. It is a ready to use learning module that any instructor can start using immediately just by following the instructions provided. The site also contains teaching notes and tips and recommends assessment. The lesson asks the students to go beyond the mathematics and write a short report on the societal implications of the model. This is a fantastic example of writing across the curriculum.
The activities in this learning object will act as a great example that will ground the abstract concepts of exponential models.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
Any instructor can start using this module immediately. It is well thought out and organized. The instructions very easy to follow for both the instructor and the student. The author did a great job in ensuring the ease of use.