Interactive Materials for Teaching Elementary Dynamical Systems

Prize winner, Teaching DS Competition, 2013

By Duane Nykamp
Interactive Materials for Teaching Elementary Dynamical Systems
The web site Math Insight contains expository material, interactive applets, videos, and exercises intended to be used either in a classroom setting or as an online resource for the greater community. The focus is on qualitative description rather than getting all technical details precise. Many of the pages were designed to be read even before students attend lecture on the topic, so they are intended to be somewhat readable introductions to the basic ideas.

This entry contains materials for an elementary dynamical systems material for a course Calculus and Dynamical Systems in Biology. The dynamical systems material is located at the website below!

The materials are designed to facilitate an inverted (or “flipped”) method of instruction. In this approach, the lecture expository material is delivered via videos or other material that students view at home. Then, the time in class is used to work through problems or projects in groups, where the instructor guides the students through this key stage of the learning process.

The web site also contains randomly generated study problems which are the same questions as those given on the paper and pencil exams. In a few cases (as development of this aspect is just beginning), students can enter their answers into the web page to check if they are correct. For most problems, they can also receive hints or view the solution.

All material is accessed from the threads, i.e., the links given above, by searching the site, or by using the index. As many pages contain interactive applets, they are intended to be accessed live on the site. The exception is the worksheets, which are designed to be printed so that students can fill in the answers by hand.
Author Institutional Affiliation
Duane Nykamp
Tutorial LevelBasic Tutorial
DescriptionClassroom Demos
Contest EntryYes

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