June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Decision making for finding an exact or approximate solution of a definite integral can be challenging for Riemann integral learners. A conceptual cross section of calculus and numerical methods/analysis courses is approximation of definite integrals that cannot be determined exactly by using the existing integral formulas. Therefore, understanding the meaning of integral approximation and deciding whether approximation or exact solution should be used for solving an integral question are important aspects of engineering education for solving challenging real life problems. In this study, Science-Technology-Engineering-Mathematics (STEM) students’ preferences to use an exact or an approximate solution to solve a definite integral problem is analyzed.
Undergraduate and graduate students’ who were enrolled to a Numerical Methods or Numerical Analysis course at a large Midwest university during a particular semester in the United States participated to this IRB approved research. The responses of the students to a written questionnaire and the follow up video recorded interviews are used for qualitative and quantitative analysis of the research question. Qualitative interview responses were used for analyzing students’ decision making process. The schema development idea of Piaget and Garcia (1989) is employed for qualitative analysis of the students’ responses to the research question. The results indicated participants’ weakness in deciding to approximate the solution and majority of the participants’ trying to determine an exact solution to the problem. Realization of the need for a numerical method/analysis approach to solve a definite integral observed to be a conceptual challenge for both undergraduate and graduate students.
Tokgoz, E., & Ceyhan, H. (2017, June), Integral Concept and Decision Making: Do the STEM Majors Know When to Use Numerical Methods for Integral Approximation? Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28543
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