Mathematica 9 is now available

Wolfram Library Archive

Courseware Demos MathSource Technical Notes
All Collections Articles Books Conference Proceedings

Reducing Tedium in Teaching and Learning

T. Shelton
Journal / Anthology

Proceedings of the 8th Annual ICTCM
Year: 1995

By adopting the “top-down” approach in leaving the details to the computer, students can avoid the technology crutch and approach the goal of developing determination and mathematical maturity to perform mathematics without the technology. It allows me to specify the level of dependence upon the computer. The examples I present can be used as computer laboratories for students, thereby aiding in their learning. I have used these techniques also to present material to students in an organized fashion. I can generate many examples quickly and cleanly. I can use technology to trace student errors; for instance, on an exam, a student makes a mistake in a procedure I can give partial credit for that portion and quickly check if the remainder of the problem would be correct. I have also used this in the office when a student comes in for help. I have told students they may check their own work using technology rather than asking someone else to help trace an error. I can quickly generate keys to problem sets and exams as well. As an added bonus, students don't have to read my handwriting, and I don't have to decipher theirs. I am still trying to find the best balance between technology and traditional methods, but these are some of the ways I have found of using technology to reduce the tedium of teaching as well as in learning of mathematics.