June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
22.540.1 - 22.540.13
Effects of An Integrated Calculus Reform Project for Engineering MajorsFor the past two decades, both pros and cons of calculus reform have been documented. Aquestion often asked is, “ the calculus reform project improved students’ Has understanding ofmathematics?” This study reports preliminary results of an ongoing 3-year integrated project,PLEASE, supported by National Science Council in Taiwan. The PLEASE project adopts acollaborative model consisting of five individual projects conducted by Mathematics andEngineering faculties at two technological universities. The title PLEASE stands for six mainthemes of this integrated project: (1) P—pre-calculus, (2) L—low achievers’ learning, (3)E—e-learning, (4) A—assessment, (5) S—statistics and calculus, (6) E—engineeringmathematics and calculus. The PLEASE project assumes a collaborative model not only forreforming calculus curriculum itself, but also for establishing an e-learning and assessmentplatform. Three main components (PEA, LEA, and SEA) cover an extended range ofcurriculum from pre-calculus to post-calculus courses. The PEA (pre-calculus, e-learning, andassessment) component combines Calcai, a graphical software, and Mimic Builder, ane-learning device, to develop an e-learning tool for pre-calculus. The LEA (low achievers,e-learning, and assessment) component attempts to construct an auxiliary environment,including computerized adaptive diagnosis evaluation system and teaching assistants, toenhance low achievers’ learning. The SEA (statistics, engineering mathematics, andassessment) component restructures traditional calculus curriculum to help engineeringmajors make a connection between calculus and subsequent courses—statistics andengineering mathematics. The finding of PEA indicates that college freshmen receiving interactive web-basedinstruction significantly outperformed the control group. A qualitative investigation alsofound that, contrary to traditional curriculum, these college freshmen were impressed andencouraged by this we-based learning instrument. The LEA results showed low-achievers’significant improvement in calculus learning, but its effects may vary. It revealed thatoutcomes of the Computerized Adaptive Testing (CAT) system were positively related toparticipants’ initial achievement in mathematics. The results of SEA component are not clearat this moment because it is still in its data collection stage. However, we found severaldifficulties in doing this line of effort. For instance, students were unable to foresee thenecessity of this effort and thus showed reluctance to accept supplementary material. We willreport the strength and weakness of this integrated calculus reform project in terms of theappeal made by Tulane Conference in 1986.
Liu, P., & Lin, C. C., & Chen, T., & Liao, C., & Chung, Y. T., & Lin, C., & Chen, R. (2011, June), Effects of an Integrated Calculus Reform Project for Engineering Majors Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17821
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