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Using Web Based Technologies To Reach And Engage Millennial Students In Calculus

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Computers and Software in Teaching Mathemathetics

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

14.1337.1 - 14.1337.14



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Paper Authors

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Jenna Carpenter Louisiana Tech University

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Using Web-based Technologies to Reach and Engage Millennial Students in Calculus Abstract

Today’s college-aged students are classified as millennials (born between the years of 1974 and 1994). Several characteristics of this population make web-based technologies attractive tools for reaching and engaging students. Millennials are classified as both digital natives and experiential learners. Moreover, in the area of personality, these students are more warm, outgoing and socially bold than their predecessors. Using these characteristics as a guide, there are a variety of web-based technologies which can be used to more effectively reach millennial students and engage them in learning mathematics. This paper will review use of online homework, e-mail and online tutoring, as well as Web 2.0 technologies such as blogs, wikis and podcasts which focus on social interaction. Practical strategies for implementing these technologies in a college-level mathematics course will be discussed, along with both student and instructor feedback from their use in calculus.


Today’s traditional college-aged students, born between the years of 1974 and 1994, belong to the millennial generation. These students display a number of characteristics which differentiate them from their predecessors. According to Richard Sweeney1, University Librarian at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, millennials want to personalize the products and services they are offered. And they want those goods and services now - they are impatient. They like constant feedback and they want that instantly, too. They learn best by doing (hands-on, active and cooperative, interactive learning) and largely find traditional lecture-style courses uninteresting. But they do want teachers who interact with them face-to-face. They just expect the digital services, too (with speed, convenience and flexibility) and will mix and merge the two to their own satisfaction. While research shows that millennials are not readers, they are major communicators and expect to be able to communicate on the go, whenever and wherever they are. They expect services that can be “time and place shifted” to meet their schedules and needs. Millennials, in the area of personality, are more warm, outgoing and socially bold than their predecessors. These differences suggest that traditional static, non-interactive, text-based approaches to presenting information to these students are not likely to be the most effective way to reach and engage this generation. Web-based technologies, however, are attractive tools for reaching and engaging students. Many web-based products and approaches have the capability to personalize learning, to offer services around the clock and around the globe, and to provide immediate feedback. Consequently, using web-based technologies in conjunction with a traditional calculus course provides opportunities to provide personalized, interactive learning that is available 24-7 and gives students instant feedback. The goal of this project was to incorporate several web-based services into a standard calculus course and determine which, if any, of these technologies students were willing to use, which they found most helpful and why.

Reviews of literature on the use of educational technology and mathematical learning over several decades show that use of technology is associated with gains in student achievement on standardized tests and, in many cases, student attitude. It is most effective if the technology use

Carpenter, J. (2009, June), Using Web Based Technologies To Reach And Engage Millennial Students In Calculus Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--4855

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