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A webMathematica Application for Mathematics Learning

Giovannina Albano
Organization: Universita degli Studi di Salerno
Department: DIIMA - Dipartimento di Ingegneria dell'Informazione e Matematica Applicata
Bernardo D'Auria
Organization: Universita degli Studi di Salerno
Department: DIIMA - Dipartimento diIngegneria dell'Informazione e Matematica Applicata
Saverio Salerno
Organization: Universita degli Studi di Salerno
Department: DIIMA - Dipartimento di Ingegneria dell'Informazione e Matematica Applicata

2002 Applications of Computer Algebra Conference (ACA '2002)
Conference location

Volos, Greece

In this talk we would like to present MoMAMath, an on-line interactive software for mathematics learning, based on Mathematica and WebMathematica. The software has been realised by the authors and it has been experimented to support classical courses of basic mathematics for first year engineering students at the University of Salerno.

MoMAMath aims to improve to the didactic potentialities of the traditional textbook. In fact it is completely interactive and based on the learning by doing approach.

MoMAMath's distinctive feature is the possibility of on-line interactive exercise sessions, besides other classical services like theory sessions, asynchronous communication with teachers, and so on. We want to underline some of the main characteristics of such exercise sessions.

First of all, the software is able to create infinity exercises. In fact there is no database, containing exercises and solutions, but they are randomly generated on the fly by the software any time that a student requires one. Algorithms have been implemented in Mathematica in order to generate suitable exercises, which are consistent also from didactical point of view.

Moreover, each exercise has been split into atomic steps and a step by step procedure has been implemented in order to guide the students in the understanding of solution techniques. At each step the student is required to interact with the system, that evaluates the answer and gives a feedback, distinguishing computation errors from theoretical ones. According to the errors, suitable and personalised suggestions are given to the students, in order to allow them to fill in gaps, studying thoroughly theoretical concepts or preliminary exercises.

The exercises are classified according topics as in a classic textbook, but the student can access to an exam simulation, that is a session where random exercises are generated. If the answer of the student is not correct, the student automatically access to the step by step solution procedure. MoMAMath is accessible by any web browser. The students access to a personal working space using login and password, and any time that they exit, the state of the exercises is kept until the next access.

*Mathematica Technology > Special Versions > webMathematica

interactive exercise sessions, MoMAMath, University of Salerno