Using Computer-Based Laboratories to Teach Graphing and the Derivative at the College Level
Welcome to the subject information home page for my dissertation study. This site is designed primarily for students in Math 120 at the University of Illinois who are participating in, or considering participating in, my study. This site will expand over the next couple of weeks, to keep you updated on what is happening. If you have a question not answered by this site, please
email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Here's a bit about me, in case you're curious.
Check out the schedule of events. This tells what is happening, when, and where.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- What is this study about?
This study is designed to discover how different kinds of computer graphing technology can be used to help students learn calculus.
- What benefit should I expect to get from participating in the study?
Participants will get about four to four and a half hours of instruction designed to help them develop a better understanding the derivative. The derivative is the central concept in the first half of first semester calculus (Math 120). The better you understand this concept, the better you will understand the course. Thus, this study is expected to help you do better in calculus than you might otherwise have done.
- How much time does it take to participate?
This study is expected to take a total of about five to five and a half hours. The pre-test takes about half an hour, and each of the two instructional sessions takes from two hours to two and a half hours. This time is the only cost.
- Will I get extra credit in Math 120 for participating in this study?
No, you don't get credit for just participating--but you may get credit for learning something. Your instructor will give the same sort of tests and quizzes that he normally gives. I don't know what questions he will ask, but I expect that his tests and quizzes will include questions about the concept of derivative, because it is the central concept in the first half of the course. If participating in the study helps you to understand the derivative better, so that you are able to give better answers on the tests in the course, then it could help your grade. Other than that, it will not affect your course grade.
- WIll anyone be able to get information about me from this study?
All of the information I collect in connection with this study will be kept confidential. I will report study results by writing things such as "Half of the participants did so-and-so" or "More women than men did such-and-such," but I will never write "Fred Smith from Peoria did such-and-such."
- What if I start to participate and then decide I don't have time to complete the study?
You can drop out of the study at any time. There is no penalty. Your Math 120 instructor won't even know who dropped out, so he couldn't possibly take off points for that.
- When will the study take place?
Each participant will attend two evening sessions. Session I will be offered on Monday, February 7, and again on Tuesday, February 8. You will attend only one of those two days. Session II will be offered on Wednesday, February 9, and Thursday, February 10. Again, you will attend one for the two days. I'll announce times later, but I can say for sure that all sessions will be in the late afternoon or evening, and they will be two and a half hours long (although you may finish a bit early).
- How do I register for the sessions?
Contact me by email, at email@example.com, to let me know that you are interested in participating. If you choose to participate, you will take a pre-test before the first session. The pre-test takes about half an hour. It can be scheduled at just about any time you are available between now and the time of the first session.
- I lost my copy of the consent form (or never picked one up). Is that a problem?
No problem. Look over the copy of the consent form on the web, so that you know what it says. When you come to take the pre-test, I will have a pile of consent forms with me.
- WIll I be able to find out how I did on the tests?
Yes, but only after the study is finished. I will send out an email to all study participants telling you how to get your results if you are interested.
Send Lisa email.
This page last revised January 19, 2000.