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ERIC Number: EJ1082070
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1947-7503
Calculus Students' Understanding of Area and Volume Units
Dorko, Allison; Speer, Natasha
Investigations in Mathematics Learning, v8 n1 p23-46 Fall 2015
Units of measure are critical in many scientific fields. While instructors often note that students struggle with units, little research has been conducted about the nature and extent of these difficulties or why they exist. We investigated calculus students' unit use in area and volume computations. Seventy-three percent of students gave incorrect units for at least one task. The most common error was the misappropriation of length units in area and volume computations. Analyses of interview data indicate that some students think that the unit of the computation should be the same as the unit specified in the task statement. Findings also suggest that some students have difficulties correctly indicating the units for computations that involve the quantity "p." We discuss students' correct and incorrect use of unit in relation to their understanding of area and volume as arrays, as well as in terms of Sherin's Symbolic Forms.
Research Council on Mathematics Learning. Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A