Sep 6, 2012

qCalculus: Online Short Courses in Calculus

Introducing qCalculus (qcalculus.appspot.com): a free online tool for learning the basics of Calculus! I've been working on this project for the past several weeks and am excited to officially reach out to you - my friends, colleagues, and blog readers to help iron out the kinks of what has become quite the consuming hobby.

What qCalculus is at its heart is a collection of online calculus short courses aimed at the beginning calculus student (someone with no prior calculus instruction). My AP Calculus students are all utilizing this website as a supplement to the in-class instruction they are receiving.

There are two major components to this site: Lessons and Discussion. My lessons are very short ~1 minute videos. I feel strongly that long recorded lectures don't quite reach the online audience as effectively as shorter videos which perhaps don't lose kids in their ever shorter attention spans. Following each video is a focused quiz question that the student needs to correctly answer (or achieve a streak of correct answers in some cases) to unlock the next lesson video.

The discussion board is simply a forum for students to ask for and give help pertaining to the lessons they are currently working through. As students ask good questions (determined by the community at large through the simple vote-up vote-down mechanisms popularized by similar discussion boards currently extant on the web) their reputation grows. Students can earn ribbons for their accomplishment in the lessons and for their reputation on the discussion board.

I hope that this new approach to "homework" refreshes the average student and reaches those who otherwise struggled in Calculus. Please feel free to sign up for a class and participate, that will certainly help me work out the kinks and you may just learn some math along the way.

Link: qcalculus.appspot.com

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