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ERIC Number: EJ1021834
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0020-739X
Learning Difficulties with Solids of Revolution: Classroom Observations
Mofolo-Mbokane, Batseba; Engelbrecht, Johann; Harding, Ansie
International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, v44 n7 p1065-1080 2013
The study aims to identify areas of difficulty in learning about volumes of solids of revolution (VSOR) at a Further Education and Training college in South Africa. Students' competency is evaluated along five skill factors which refer to knowledge skills required to succeed in performing tasks relating to applications of the definite integral, in particular to VSOR. The paper reflects on reasons for the difficulties that students experience in this topic. The study reveals that many students are not competent in drawing graphs and in interpreting the region bounded by the given graphs. If the graphs are given, students have difficulty in selecting the representative strip that is used in approximating the bounded region. Although many students are able to produce the correct formula to calculate the volume, be it a disc, washer or shell, they find it problematic to draw the three-dimensional (3D) representation of the rotated strip and the generated solid of revolution. Students seem to succeed better with tasks requiring simple manipulation skills. The study illustrates how a measure (the skill factors) can be put into practice for establishing exactly where the problems lie when students under-perform in the topic of VSOR. The results can serve as guide on how conclusions can be drawn by assessing the problematic situation through breaking it down along the framework of skill factors.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A