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Seager, Suzanne – PRIMUS, 2020

For many of my students, Real Analysis I is the first, and only, analysis course they will ever take, and these students tend to be overwhelmed by epsilon-delta proofs. To help them I reordered Real Analysis I to start with an "Analysis Boot Camp" in the first 2 weeks of class, which focuses on working with inequalities, absolute value,…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Teaching Methods, Mathematical Concepts, Concept Formation

Flórez, Rigoberto; Mukherjee, Antara – PRIMUS, 2020

We describe some classic experiments on the Möbius strip, the projective plane band, and the Klein bottle band. We present our experience with freshmen college students, college teachers, high school students, and Mathematics Education graduate students. These experiments are designed to encourage readers to learn more about the properties of the…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, College Mathematics, Secondary School Mathematics, Undergraduate Study

David, Erika J.; Hah Roh, Kyeong; Sellers, Morgan E. – PRIMUS, 2020

This paper offers instructional interventions designed to support undergraduate math students' understanding of two forms of representations of Calculus concepts, mathematical language and graphs. We first discuss issues in students' understanding of mathematical language and graphs related to Calculus concepts. Then, we describe tasks, which are…

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

Karaali, Gizem; Yih, Samuel – PRIMUS, 2020

When first learning how to write mathematical proofs, it is often easier for students to work with statements using the universal quantifier. Results that single out special cases might initially come across as more puzzling or even mysterious. In this article we explore three specific statements from abstract algebra that involve the number…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, College Mathematics, Algebra, Numbers

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

Selbach-Allen, Megan E.; Greenwald, Sarah J.; Ksir, Amy E.; Thomley, Jill E. – PRIMUS, 2020

In this paper, we compare and contrast our experiences in using standards-based grading in different courses and across two separate institutions to explore the related tradeoffs and subtleties in designing and implementing such grading systems, guided by innovation diffusion theory. We summarize our individual courses, use Linda Nilson's criteria…

Descriptors: Grading, Standards, Evaluation Methods, College Faculty

Klima, V. – PRIMUS, 2019

As teachers of mathematics we encourage our students to ask good questions, and we strive to help our students find and understand answers to these questions. This journey can be made more meaningful if students conclude by reflecting on their learning process. If we find careful questioning and reflection important, we should include such…

Descriptors: Homework, Mathematics Instruction, College Mathematics, Color

Isihara, Paul; Congdon, Elisabeth; Perciante, Terry – PRIMUS, 2018

Within the undergraduate mathematics curriculum, the topic of simple least-squares linear regression is often first encountered in multi-variable calculus where the line of best fit is obtained by using partial derivatives to find the slope and y-intercept of the line that minimizes the residual sum of squares. A markedly different approach from…

Descriptors: Undergraduate Study, College Mathematics, Mathematics Instruction, Least Squares Statistics

Combs, Randy; Bingham, Teri; Roper, Taylor – PRIMUS, 2018

In this paper I discuss my experience in using the inverted classroom structure to teach a proof-based, upper level Advanced Calculus course. The structure of the inverted classroom model allows students to begin learning the new mathematics prior to the class meeting. By front-loading learning of new concepts, students can use valuable class time…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Teaching Methods, Validity, Mathematical Logic

Williams, Kristopher – PRIMUS, 2018

This article describes a system of specifications-based grading used in an introduction to proofs course. The system was introduced to address two issues that arose in the course: how to spend less time grading and how to encourage use of feedback. We describe the implementation of the system and the results on grading and on students.

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

Hendrickson, Anders O. F. – PRIMUS, 2018

Teaching determinants poses significant challenges to the instructor of a proof-based undergraduate linear algebra course. The standard definition by cofactor expansion is ugly, lacks symmetry, and is hard for students to use in proofs. We introduce a visual definition of the determinant that interprets permutations as arrangements of…

Descriptors: Mathematical Concepts, Mathematics Instruction, College Mathematics, Algebra

Shannon, Kathleen – PRIMUS, 2018

This paper describes, as an alternative to the Moore Method or a purely flipped classroom, a student-driven, textbook-supported method for teaching that allows movement through the standard course material with differing depths, but the same pace. This method, which includes a combination of board work followed by class discussion, on-demand brief…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Textbooks, Mathematics, Portfolio Assessment

Herrera, Christine A.; McCabe, Terrance; Strictland, Sharon; White, Alexander – PRIMUS, 2018

In an undergraduate analysis course taught by one of the authors, three prompts are regularly given: (i) What do we know? (ii) What do we need to show? (iii) Let's draw a picture. We focus on the third prompt and its role in helping students develop their confidence in learning how to construct proofs. Specific examples of visual models and their…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Mathematical Logic, Validity, Mathematics Skills

El Turkey, Houssein; Tang, Gail; Savic, Milos; Karakok, Gulden; Cilli-Turner, Emily; Plaxco, David – PRIMUS, 2018

A growing body of mathematics education research points to the importance of fostering students' mathematical creativity in undergraduate mathematics courses. However, there are not many research-based instructional practices that aim to accomplish this task. Our research group has been working to address this issue and created a formative…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Mathematical Logic, Validity, Creativity

Dorée, Suzanne Ingrid – PRIMUS, 2017

How can we teach inquiry? In this paper, I offer practical techniques for teaching inquiry effectively using activities built from routine textbook exercises with minimal advanced preparation, including rephrasing exercises as questions, creating activities that inspire students to make conjectures, and asking for counterexamples to reasonable,…

Descriptors: Inquiry, Mathematics Instruction, Learning Activities, Problem Solving