Collaborative Research: Maplets for Calculus (M4C)
The Collaborative Research Proposal: Maplets for Calculus is a student oriented electronic study guide collection of over one hundred applets for precalculus, single and multivariable calculus. These highly pedagogical applets balance the development of understanding and technical skills by posing questions, guiding the student through the solution process, checking intermediate results, and providing timely hints. Instructors use the applets as lecture demonstrations, as a source for quiz questions, or in a lab setting where students can talk to each other about solving them. Users access an endless supply of randomly generated questions or enter their own problems. The applets enhance comprehension through many 2-D and 3-D graphics and animations. Students have been instrumental throughout the development of this project: initial development of many applets was done by Honors calculus students; the web interface for the project was designed by a high school student; and the adaptation to mobile devices is done by a staff of undergraduates. A Ph.D. student in secondary education is studying the use of Maplets for Calculus with high school students in precalculus and calculus courses.
During the initial CCLI project the number of applets grew from 70 to 129, and the collection is growing to over 200 under the current NSF TUES funding. User ratings have been incorporated for each applet, and surveys are being developed and administered at several universities to assess the effectiveness of the applets. The results from ratings and surveys are being used to improve the effectiveness of the applets, and the applets are being adapted to mobile devices, incorporating them into on-line texts and translating them into other languages. General software tools and techniques for creating the interface for mobile devices will remain in the public domain, whereas the pedagogical materials must be purchased as individual or site licenses at MYMathApps.com. Dissemination efforts, including publications, presentations, workshops and sales, will ensure sustainability.