Mathway is a mathematics problem solving tool where students can select their math and enter a problem. The computer solves the problem andbut only shows the steps for the solution if you have a paid subscription. It also has a worksheet generator and glossary.
Type of Material:
Drill and practice. Answer checking reference.
Homework or test preparation resource.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
To check the answers to mathematics problems and (with a paid subscription) review the steps in the solution.
Target Student Population:
Students in basic math, geometry, algebra, precalculus, calculus, and statistics.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Evaluation and Observation
The site allows the user to enter in just about any math problem from basic math, geometry, algebra, precalculus, calculus, statistics, finite math or linear algebra. There is a very large collection of problem types that this tool can solve. It quickly solves the problem and shows the answer. An instructor can also use the site to create a worksheet in a specified content area, with a specified number of questions. A glossary of hundreds of math terms is also on the site.
In order to use the full power of the site, the student must pay a substantial monthly subscription fee. With this fee, the student will not be distracted by advertisements and will be able to view the steps used to solve the equation. Without this fee all the student can see is the final answer, which severely limits any pedagogical use. This review is based on the free version which does have the distracting advertisements and does not show the steps.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The free site is not a teaching tool. A student who wants to check his or her answer can use this site to get the answer quickly.
Since the free version only shows the answer, a student using this version will not be able to learn the process used to solve the problem or get an explanation of any of the concepts.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
There is an extensive list of examples that students can use as templates for the problems that they will be solving. Once the problem is entered there is a single button to solve the problem. There are clearly labeled tabs for solving, graphing, worksheets and the glossary. The mathematics engine appears to be very capable and quickly produces correct answers in a wide selection of mathematics.