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Oremland, Lucy S. – PRIMUS, 2022

Transforming an observable phenomenon into a tractable model is a challenging process, from determining the appropriate modeling scale to making realistic simplifying assumptions. However, many modeling texts are anchored around problems that have already been synthesized into a digestible format, which inhibits an opportunity to engage students…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Mathematical Models, Biological Sciences, Interdisciplinary Approach

Gaines, Benjamin – PRIMUS, 2022

In introductory level math classes, writing prompts can be used as part of weekly homework assignments to encourage students to think more deeply about the subject at hand. These writing prompts present scenarios related to recently learned material in a new context and require students to submit a short written response online. Writing prompts…

Descriptors: Introductory Courses, Mathematics Instruction, Cues, Writing (Composition)

Ayalew, Mentewab; Hylton, Derrick; Sistrunk, Jeticia; Melton, James; Johnson, Kiandra; Voit, Eberhard – PRIMUS, 2022

The integration of biology with mathematics and computer science mandates the training of students capable of comfortably navigating among these fields. We address this formidable pedagogical challenge with the creation of transdisciplinary modules that guide students toward solving realistic problems with methods from different disciplines.…

Descriptors: Biology, Science Instruction, Mathematics Instruction, Interdisciplinary Approach

Bennoun, Steve; Holm, Tara – PRIMUS, 2021

The Mathematics Department at Cornell University has recently secured a grant from the University to implement systemic change in how we teach courses that reach students at critical transition points in their mathematical development. In this article, we report on the changes made to our large multi-section first-semester calculus course in order…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Teaching Methods, Educational Change, Active Learning

Krouss, Paul; Lesseig, Kristin – PRIMUS, 2020

Introductory and remedial courses in college mathematics often serve as a gateway to student success. However, these university courses have seen little innovation despite historically low success rates. We sought to address deficits of the traditional lecture model and enhance student learning in an introductory college algebra course through the…

Descriptors: Educational Technology, Technology Uses in Education, Homework, Video Technology

Sears, Ruthmae; Hopf, Frances; Torres-Ayala, Ana; Williams, Casey; Skryzpek, LesLaw – PRIMUS, 2019

We describe how faculty and staff used improvement science design Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycles and engaged in interdisciplinary conversations in an effort to improve students' performance in introductory mathematics courses. This initiative started with College Algebra a course with a large enrollment of students that had a high failure rate.…

Descriptors: Introductory Courses, Mathematics Instruction, College Mathematics, Algebra

Isihara, Paul; Townsend, Edwin; Ndkezi, Richard; Tully, Kevin – PRIMUS, 2019

Responding to a call for national reform of mathematical education, as well as a college-wide revision of general education (GE) requirements, we describe a new entry-level, GE course focused on the humanitarian utility of mathematics. This includes a detailed overview of how we taught the course using a Humanitarian MATLAB Lab Manual developed…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Computer Software, Educational Change, Introductory Courses

berg, jenn; Buell, Catherine A.; Day, Danette; Evans, Rhonda – PRIMUS, 2019

As an interdisciplinary team, we set out to create an applied statistics course that would cover the traditional introductory statistics topics in a consistent framework of social justice. The goal was to motivate students to understand and learn math while deepening their understanding of the interplay, at local and global levels, between social…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Social Justice, Interdisciplinary Approach, College Mathematics

Johnston, William W.; Webster, Jonathan E.; Wilson, Christopher James – PRIMUS, 2017

This paper offers a strategic initiative designed to boost the level of collaborative mathematical research involving undergraduate mathematics students at Butler University. It describes goals, program design, logistics, and outcomes for an 8-day intensive summer experience in which undergraduate mathematics majors engaged in original…

Descriptors: College Mathematics, Mathematics Instruction, Introductory Courses, Student Research

Sole, Marla A. – PRIMUS, 2016

Open-ended questions that can be solved using different strategies help students learn and integrate content, and provide teachers with greater insights into students' unique capabilities and levels of understanding. This article provides a problem that was modified to allow for multiple approaches. Students tended to employ high-powered, complex,…

Descriptors: Problem Solving, Mathematics Instruction, Feedback (Response), Teaching Methods

Barnett, Janet Heine; Bezhanishvili, Guram; Lodder, Jerry; Pengelley, David – PRIMUS, 2016

We describe teaching an introductory discrete mathematics course entirely from student projects based on primary historical sources. We present case studies of four projects that cover the content of a one-semester course, and mention various other courses that we have taught with primary source projects.

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Primary Sources, Introductory Courses, Student Projects

Oates, Greg; Paterson, Judy; Reilly, Ivan; Woods, Grant – PRIMUS, 2016

We report on three approaches taken to incorporate collaborative activities into undergraduate mathematics classes. There is strong evidence from research in K-12 classrooms that these, and similar, approaches support a range of positive learning outcomes for students. Despite the potential benefits the cited studies have shown, research into the…

Descriptors: Undergraduate Study, College Mathematics, Mathematics Instruction, Cooperative Learning

Jaafar, Reem – PRIMUS, 2016

For students with little experience in mathematical thinking and conceptualization, writing-to-learn activities (WTL) can be particularly effective in promoting discovery and understanding. For community college students embarking on a first calculus course in particular, writing activities can help facilitate the transition from an "apply…

Descriptors: College Mathematics, Calculus, Mathematics Instruction, Writing Instruction

Pankavich, Stephen; Swanson, Rebecca – PRIMUS, 2015

Principal Component Analysis (PCA) is a highly useful topic within an introductory Linear Algebra course, especially since it can be used to incorporate a number of applied projects. This method represents an essential application and extension of the Spectral Theorem and is commonly used within a variety of fields, including statistics,…

Descriptors: Factor Analysis, Mathematics Instruction, College Mathematics, Algebra

Gerhardt, Ira – PRIMUS, 2015

An experiment was conducted over three recent semesters of an introductory calculus course to test whether it was possible to quantify the effect that difficulty with basic algebraic and arithmetic computation had on individual performance. Points lost during the term were classified as being due to either algebraic and arithmetic mistakes…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, College Mathematics, Undergraduate Study, Calculus

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