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OShaughnessy, J. – PRIMUS, 2019

This paper investigates the advantages of using a two-step homework system. First, technology is used to collect and grade traditional homework. Then, students are expected to present and explain problems from their assignments in class. Several versions of implementation are discussed for different course levels and sizes. Through these methods,…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, College Mathematics, Homework, Educational Technology

Anderson, Jacqueline – PRIMUS, 2019

A common challenge among mathematics professors is to structure a course so that students are motivated to complete enough work to master the material without creating an unmanageable grading workload. We will discuss a strategy that the author devised to successfully confront this challenge (after many other failed attempts): using online surveys…

Descriptors: College Mathematics, College Students, Student Evaluation, Feedback (Response)

Anderson, Jeffrey A.; McCusker, Michael V. – PRIMUS, 2019

We present a new learning activity that enables students to apply eigenvalue theory to investigate a practical modeling problem. We demonstrate how to build a spring-coupled pair of pendula and describe how students can measure the movements of these pendula using open-source image processing software. We then illustrate how to analyze this…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, College Mathematics, Experiential Learning, Learning Activities

Hirst, H.; Palmer, K. – PRIMUS, 2019

The authors describe working with partner disciplines during the process of updating mathematics courses for the general education quantitative literacy requirement. The conversations resulted in significant changes to the business calculus course and a rich listing of applications to be incorporated into the college algebra course from technical…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, College Mathematics, Algebra, Calculus

Dame, L.; Aryal, B.; Huq, A.; Prat-Resina, X. – PRIMUS, 2019

Students entering health sciences programs may face challenges on their road to successful completion and possible entry to medical school in the area of preparedness in quantitative skills. At our institution, faculty analyzed evidence of these challenges including performance on the ACT Math Test, an in-house math placement test and quantitative…

Descriptors: College Faculty, Undergraduate Students, Science Instruction, Algebra

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

Garaschuk, Kseniya M.; Cytrynbaum, Eric N. – PRIMUS, 2019

Active learning techniques, such as peer instruction and group work, have been gaining a lot of traction in universities. Taking a natural next step in re-evaluating current practices, many institutions recently started experimenting student-centred group exams. In order to assess the feasibility and effectiveness of collaborative assessments, we…

Descriptors: Instructional Effectiveness, Mathematics Instruction, Group Testing, Group Activities

Harwood, R. Corban – PRIMUS, 2018

This article addresses the logistics of implementing projects in an undergraduate mathematics class and is intended both for new instructors and for instructors who have had negative experiences implementing projects in the past. Project implementation is given for both lower- and upper-division mathematics courses with an emphasis on mathematical…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Mathematical Models, Active Learning, Student Projects

Champion, Joe; Mesa, Vilma – PRIMUS, 2018

In this paper, we present findings from a preliminary analysis of transcript data in the High School Longitudinal Study (HSLS:09), a large-scale longitudinal investigation of academic achievement among U.S. high school students. Using proportional flow diagrams of course-taking patterns, we illustrate differences in calculus completion associated…

Descriptors: Calculus, Mathematics Instruction, Longitudinal Studies, High School Students

Bauldry, William C. – PRIMUS, 2018

The standard technique taught in calculus courses for partial fraction expansions uses undetermined coefficients to generate a system of linear equations; we present a derivative-based technique that calculus and differential equations instructors can use to reinforce connections to calculus. Simple algebra shows that we can use the derivative to…

Descriptors: Fractions, Calculus, Mathematics Instruction, Undergraduate Students

Karaali, Gizem – PRIMUS, 2018

In recent years, I have cultivated an almost pathological resistance to grading. Here I explore the reasons why and describe how I eventually recovered. In particular, I propose that although grading, or more explicitly, effective assessment of student learning, is a challenging component of a mathematics instructor's job description, reflective…

Descriptors: Mathematics Teachers, Professional Identity, Grades (Scholastic), Grading

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

Tunstall, Samuel Luke – PRIMUS, 2018

Issues within college algebra are well-documented. Over the past two decades, reform has brought about significant modifications in the course, yet to date there has been no synthesis of the efficacy of these efforts. This paper situates college algebra within a historical context, and synthesizes research on reform. I argue that, notwithstanding…

Descriptors: College Mathematics, Mathematics Instruction, Algebra, Educational Change

Shaw, Christopher – PRIMUS, 2018

We present a short-term class project used in an introductory linear algebra course, designed to engage students in matrix algebra. In this activity, students responded to a survey of their pop culture tastes. Using the survey responses, they worked to design a series of matching algorithms, using matrices, with the goal of matching the students…

Descriptors: Algebra, Mathematics Instruction, Matrices, Popular Culture

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