MathRec Home Steve's Personal Page

## Educational Resources

In this part of the site, I'm developing and posting some educational content. This area should be interesting to educators teaching math or physics, educators looking at ways to use Internet resources to benefit their students in traditional courses, educators preparing online courses, and students of math or physics.

### Educational Resources

I'm going through some of the content that I've used with classes and putting it into a stand-alone form. I am willing to give liberal permission to use and modify this material, but I do want to be asked.

• Blackboard Question Pools for Algebra — 72 question pools totaling over 8400 question variations. Most questions have 64 to 160 variations. Each type of question with algorithmically generated questions is a separate pool, so you can create online quizzes that give a different variation for each student and/or for each time a student takes the quiz. I've used this capability to make practice quizzes available for my students to use as often as they wish. 21 of the 72 question types are a review of Intermediate Algebra and may be useful for instructors teaching Intermediate Algebra or any subject with Intermediate Algebra as a prerequisite. The remaining 51 question types correspond to College Algebra topics, but some of those may be applicable to Intermediate Algebra, and many (or most) are applicable to a Pre-Calculus course. I've put together some web pages with sample questions of each type. They are indexed according to the chapters of Michael Sullivan's College Algebra book, since that's the text I was using when I developed them. Each "Chapter" file contains all of the questions from that chapter. The file named "ChapterR.html" contains the review questions. All pools are available upon request. Browse the directory.
• Integral Exercises — Elementary Integrals and Integration by Substitution
• Word Problems — Rates and similar problems
• Rational Expression Graphing Utility — Produces .gif graphs of rational expressions (or polynomials)
• Equation Templates — HTML code for equations. Copy and edit.
• HTML Equation Preprocessor — Enter text into the window and a perl script recognizes some basic tags to format equations in HTML.
• Blackboard Question Pools for College Algebra and review of Intermediate Algebra. 72 pools with a total of 8404 question variations. I'm working on a page that gives more information. E-mail me if you're interested.
• Blackboard Assessment Pool Question Generator — Create parameterized question pools for Blackboard. You define variables that are used to generate different variations for the question pool.
• Browser Compatibility — Not very polished, but contains some useful info and tables.

### Goals and Objectives

I have several goals, so let me be clear about them up front. First, the material that I am developing is meant to be supplementary to students in traditional courses. I am not trying to develop an online course—at least not yet. The topics that I am developing are in the area of college algebra (or high-school pre-calculus) and introductory college physics (or high-school physics). My main target for the physics will be non-calculus-based, but I will probably round that out with some addtional calculus-based content.

#### Students

Students should use this site two ways. As content is developed and added to the site, you will have more and more resources to help you in these courses. More immediately, you can submit math and physics questions to me. If you think this is a homework service, you've missed the point. Anything that smells like a homework problem will get a response, but I will deliberately avoid giving you a solution. If you want the most helpful response, you should submit the problem, your solution (full or partial), the course topic that you think is being addressed by the problem (that is, what is the chapter in your textbook about), your school, your instructor, your course number or name, the name of your textbook, and a specific question about the problem or about the course topic. If you do that, you will get a very real and very helpful response.

#### Instructors

Instructors should use this site in three ways. Most importantly to me, open a dialogue with me about your concerns and objectives, and critique this site. Second, Link this site as a student resource, and tell me you have done so. (I do not have a policy about informing teachers when their students use this site, but I feel that I should have one. What should that policy be?) Finally, as I develop individual modules, you may use these to supplement your teaching. If you have an online syllabus or course outline (and who doesn't, right?), then you may add links directly to the modules that you think will benefit your students. Also, I have some very large Blackboard question pools for review of Intermediate Algebra and for a College Algebra course (72 pools with a total of 8404 question variations). I'm happy to share, but please e-mail me.

#### The author's objectives

I initially created this section when I started a professional change from business into college-level teaching. My foremost personal objective here is to share what I have developed with other educators. I now have a couple of tools that are useful, but I'd also like more dialogue with educators who use web-based resources. My secondary objective is to diversify my experience with students taking math and physics courses. I've engaged some of my own classroom students through e-mail and web materials, but I'm still interested in more computer-based interaction with students.

I've changed my objectives a little bit since I first created this directory and put a page here. At that time, I was more focused on the mechanics of creating an online tutorial. Since then I've come to appreciate that the mechanics need to come last. So the set of resources is a bit of a hodgepodge, but it is what it is.

Please send responses to