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Norton, Douglas E. – PRIMUS, 2022

This paper introduces a course design for a post-Calculus undergraduate course on mathematical modeling for the life sciences. The course includes differential equations, discrete, and cellular automata approaches (among others) to modeling questions in the life sciences, as well as a variety of biological topics. The course focuses on model…

Descriptors: Undergraduate Study, College Mathematics, Mathematical Models, Biological Sciences

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)

Krause, Andrew J.; Maccombs, Ryan J.; Wong, Willie W. Y. – PRIMUS, 2021

Our traditional model of calculus instruction at a large public research university emphasized factual knowledge and procedural fluency with few realistic applications, leaving a chasm between classroom mathematics and disciplinary practice. Amid an ongoing effort by our department to improve undergraduate learning outcomes, we replaced…

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

Bazett, Trefor; Clough, Crystal L. – PRIMUS, 2021

Our department has experienced a significant culture transformation in its approach to teaching. This change is primarily the result of sustained focus on reforming two heavily coordinated sequences, Applied Calculus and Calculus. Initially catalyzed by pilot projects introducing a flipped-class format to these courses, the reforms led to broader…

Descriptors: Coordination, Educational Change, College Mathematics, Departments

Pilgrim, Mary E.; Apkarian, Naneh; Milbourne, Hayley; O'Sullivan, Michael – PRIMUS, 2021

San Diego State University recently embarked on a major initiative to revitalize the Precalculus, Calculus 1, and Calculus 2 sequences. In addition to program features such as course coordination, a new active learning component led by graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) was added to each of the Precalculus, Calculus 1, and Calculus 2 courses, and…

Descriptors: College Mathematics, Calculus, Teaching Assistants, Active Learning

Hancock, Emilie; Franco, Lorraine; Bagley, Spencer; Karakok, Gulden – PRIMUS, 2021

As calculus instruction moves further from lecture-based instruction toward student-centered pedagogy, support services must align with the changing goals for the course. This paper describes the work of a department as they collectively design and redesign a co-requisite Calculus I course, in an effort to better promote students' academic and…

Descriptors: Teaching Methods, Mathematics Instruction, Calculus, Social Integration

Harsy, Amanda – PRIMUS, 2020

As educators, it is important for us to recognize that our assessment methods affect student attitudes. If we want students to learn from their mistakes and counteract a fixed-mindset of learning, perhaps we should look at what we incentivize in the classroom. Some professors are attempting to counteract math and test anxiety, poor STEM retention,…

Descriptors: Testing, Mastery Tests, Mastery Learning, Mathematics Instruction

Carlisle, Sylvia – PRIMUS, 2020

Specifications grading is a version of mastery grading distinguished by giving students clear specifications that their work must meet, and grading most things pass/fail based on those specifications. Mastery grading systems can get quite elaborate, with hierarchies of objectives and various systems for rewriting and retesting. In this article I…

Descriptors: Grading, Standards, Mathematics Instruction, Calculus

Morena, Matthew A.; Smith, Shelly; Talbert, Robert – PRIMUS, 2019

We describe the use of student-generated video content to assess students' engagement with, and understanding of, problem-solving skills. In this framework, students are tasked with using technology to create videos that show them working through, and explaining solutions to, challenging calculus exercises. The videos are then posted online,…

Descriptors: Video Technology, Problem Solving, Calculus, Mathematics Instruction

Martin, Taylor E. – PRIMUS, 2019

My goal in crafting homework in calculus is twofold: to provide scaffolding for students to develop a theoretical understanding of calculus concepts and to incorporate good mathematical exposition, including justification and proof when appropriate. I achieve these goals by creating weekly homework sets that students work on in groups of three or…

Descriptors: Calculus, Homework, Mathematics Instruction, Mathematical Concepts

Karaali, Gizem; Khadjavi, Lily S. – PRIMUS, 2019

We provide context and motivation for an instructor to use real-life examples in the calculus classroom. To this end we describe two specific project ideas, one related to the devastating impact of methylmercury fungicide in a grain seed supply and the other to a catastrophic methane leak. By using calculus in contexts that have social justice…

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

Jensen-Vallin, Jacqueline – PRIMUS, 2017

As STEM educators, we know it is beneficial to train students to think critically and mathematically during their early mathematical lives. To this end, the author teaches the College Algebra/Precalculus course in a flipped classroom version of an inquiry-based learning style. However, the techniques described in this paper can be applied to a…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Critical Thinking, College Mathematics, Inquiry

Libertini, Jessica; Krul, Caitlin; Turner, Erica – PRIMUS, 2016

It is common for freshmen students to enter Calculus I with a wide range of levels of preparation and mastery of background material. In addition, many of the students struggle with the adjustment from high school to college. In an effort to help the students to solidify their understanding of concepts as they progress through the course, as well…

Descriptors: College Mathematics, Mathematics Instruction, Calculus, College Freshmen

Verzosa, Debbie – PRIMUS, 2015

It is now increasingly recognized that mathematics is not a neutral value-free subject. Rather, mathematics can challenge students' taken-for-granted realities and promote action. This article describes two issues, namely deforestation and income inequality. These were specifically chosen because they can be related to a range of calculus concepts…

Descriptors: Calculus, College Mathematics, Undergraduate Study, Social Problems

Young, Andrea – PRIMUS, 2015

This article discusses a cost-effective approach to flipping the calculus classroom. In particular, the emphasis is on low-cost choices, both monetarily and with regards to faculty time, that make the daunting task of flipping a course manageable for a single instructor. Student feedback and overall impressions are also presented.

Descriptors: College Mathematics, Mathematics Instruction, Blended Learning, Educational Technology

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