ERIC Number: ED201346
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Oct
Discovery Learning in Trigonometry Using Microcomputers.
Kelly, John C.
Low cost microcomputers with high resolution graphics provide students and educators with fast and accurate visual representations of mathematics relations and extend the benefits of discovery learning into the high school and college mathematics classroom. A recent challenge has been to use the computer in motivating students and teaching problem-solving--areas of mathematics instruction that have traditionally been weak. At Albany Junior College, this challenge has been met with the development of six computer-assisted, discovery learning trigonometry units, which supplement regular classroom instruction and are completed at the college's math lab using Apple II computers. After students are introduced to plotting trigonometric functions, BASIC computer language notation, and fundamental computer operations, they sequentially complete the: (1) Orientation and Discovery Learning Unit, focusing on gaining familiarity with the computer; (2) Exploration and Observation Unit, focusing on cause-and-effect relationships between particular parts of equations and their graphs; (3) Holistic Graphics Unit, focusing on sketching graphs from equations; (4) Problem-Solving Graphics Unit, focusing on determining equations from their graphs; (5) Identity Graphing Unit; and (6) Introduction to Polar Coordinates. Student reactions to the units have been positive. (Problem sets for each unit and samples of computer-produced graphs and instructions for selected problems are appended.) (JP)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive; Guides - Classroom - Learner
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Apple Educational Foundation, Cupertino, CA.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges (Washington, DC, October 9-13, 1980).