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    Designing rich sets of tasks for undergraduate calculus courses

    Breen, Sinead and O'Shea, Ann (2011) Designing rich sets of tasks for undergraduate calculus courses. In: Proceedings : Fourth Conference on Research in Mathematics Education MEI 4. St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, pp. 82-92.

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    Research has shown that the types of tasks assigned to students affect their learning. Studies have found that many mathematical tasks created for second and third level students promote instrumental rather than relational understanding, and imitative rather than creative reasoning. In this paper, we describe some frameworks that aim to guide teachers when writing tasks. From these frameworks a set of task types that are deemed appropriate for undergraduate students, and that foster mathematical habits of mind, have been selected: these are evaluating mathematical statements; example generation; analysing reasoning; conjecturing; generalising; visualisation; and using definitions. We report on an effort to design a set of tasks for an introductory calculus course using these principles and give examples of exercises on the topic of continuity. The teacher’s role in the implementation of such tasks is also discussed.

    Item Type: Book Section
    Keywords: Calculus; Mathematics teaching; Third Level; Ireland; Task design;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Mathematics and Statistics
    Item ID: 6975
    Depositing User: Dr. Ann O'Shea
    Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2016 15:10
    Publisher: St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra
    Refereed: Yes
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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