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Faculty Story

Wiki Usage in a Calculus Course

Contributor

Lou Rossi
Associate Professor, Department of Mathematical Sciences
University of Delaware

Summary

Professor Rossi is now considered a veteran of wiki usage at University of Delaware. He used wikis in his Calculus undergraduate course and his Applied Mathematics graduate course. Using a wiki helps students spend time on solving problems outside of the classroom in a motivating collaborative environment. Publishing in a wiki gets students aware of the fact that they are writing for an audience, which usually results in using common mathematical language and formulas instead of plain English. He describes his class as a tribe, where skillful individuals are leaders and slackers are easily detected. He warns faculty members of the pitfalls of trying to grade students on a wiki.

Audio Interview

Download MP3 file

Interview recorded on November 20, 2007, as a part of Mathieu Plourde's wiki report.

Attachments and Links

Type Name Comments
Screenshot (516 KB) Rossi1.jpg Screenshot from the home page of the wiki (Calculus).
Screenshot (374 KB) Rossi2.jpg One of the mathematical description of image project page.
Screenshot (243 KB) Rossi3.jpg Screenshot from the graduate course home page. Students can get answers to questions using the Problem set discussion pages.
Screenshot (348 KB) Rossi4.jpg The list of projects in the graduate course. Every student must signup for one of them in the wiki.
Slide (89 KB) Rossi_Group_Assignment_Process.jpg
  1. Students are assigned an image.
  2. Students must describe in plain English what is represented on this image.
  3. Students must describe, using mathematical formulas, the shape and movement of the object depicted on the image.
  4. Students can use the Comment feature to communicate on the project.

Tags

Mathematics, Calculus, In-class, Problem-Solving, Wiki, Sakai, Graded, Teamwork, Writing, Time-On-Task