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Pilgrim, M. E.; Gehrtz, J. – PRIMUS, 2018

In an effort to improve upon Calculus I instruction at our institution, we designed a pilot study that incorporated a variety of evidence-based classroom practices. The goal was not to formally test known successful teaching interventions. Rather, the purpose was to develop and identify course materials and instructional methods that would not…

Descriptors: Mixed Methods Research, Calculus, Mathematics Instruction, Teaching Assistants

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

Carreon, Fernando; DeBacker, Stephen; Kessenich, Paul; Kubena, Angela; LaRose, P. Gavin – PRIMUS, 2018

In the abstract for "Calculus for a New Century: A Pump, Not a Filter," Lynn Steen wrote: "The authors agree on the forces that are reshaping calculus, but disagree on how to respond to these forces. They agree that the current course is not satisfactory, yet disagree about new content emphases. They agree that the neglect of…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Calculus, Active Learning, Inquiry

Davis, Diana – PRIMUS, 2018

We describe a case study of a problem-solving section, using the "Harkness" discussion method, of an honors multivariable calculus course. Students in the problem-solving section had equivalent outcomes on exams, reported higher ratings in self-assessments of skills, and took more math classes in the following year, compared with…

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

Appova, Aina K. – PRIMUS, 2018

This paper discusses the ways in which teacher educators can effectively engage prospective teachers (PTs) in lesson study during mathematics methods courses. Evidence from this work suggests that engagement in lesson study provides PTs with opportunities to strengthen their knowledge about mathematics, students, and pedagogy. More specifically,…

Descriptors: Communities of Practice, Preservice Teacher Education, Preservice Teachers, Mathematics Instruction

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

Cline, Kelly; Zullo, Holly; Huckaby, David A.; Storm, Christopher; Stewart, Ann – PRIMUS, 2018

Classroom voting can be an effective way to stimulate student discussions. In this pedagogy, the instructor poses a multiple-choice question to the class, and then allows a few minutes for consideration and small-group discussion before students vote, either with clickers, cell phones, or a non-electronic method. After the vote the instructor…

Descriptors: Calculus, Mathematics Instruction, Audience Response Systems, Voting

Stange, Katherine E. – PRIMUS, 2018

Standards-based grading, in which grading should be designed to communicate to students their current level of mastery with regards to well-articulated standards, is becoming popular at the K-12 level. As yet, the literature addressing standards-based grading at the university level is scarce. In this paper, I document my attempts to put into…

Descriptors: Academic Standards, Grading, Introductory Courses, College Mathematics

Paul, Stepan – PRIMUS, 2018

As three-dimensional (3D) printing technology is fast becoming more affordable and accessible, calculus instructors can now consider using 3D printing and 3D printed models to actively engage students in core concepts relating to objects in R[superscript 3]. This article describes three lessons for a multivariable calculus class in which students…

Descriptors: Manipulative Materials, Calculus, Mathematics Instruction, Visual Aids

Ho, Anne M. – PRIMUS, 2018

Escape rooms are an increasingly popular puzzle game, and educators have started implementing them in classrooms. This paper will describe the motivations and implementation of escape-room-like puzzles in an undergraduate cryptography course, including how the open-source mathematics software system SageMath is used. In addition, there is a…

Descriptors: Puzzles, Technology, Class Activities, 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

Futamura, Fumiko; Marr, Alison M. – PRIMUS, 2018

This paper summarizes the experiences of two mathematics faculty members who participated in an in-house study abroad program. Descriptions of math courses taught abroad are given, as well as how students were recruited, courses were designed, and the environment was incorporated. Tips for mathematics faculty wanting to offer study abroad are…

Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Study Abroad, Teaching Methods, Mathematics Teachers

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