Reviewing Precalculus in Calculus: Integrated vs. Beginning of Course


Joint work with Henry Escuadro.

Abstract: Calculus textbooks typically start with a precalculus review at the beginning of the book. At Juniata it was typical to start the course with these sections. In the last several years, Kim replaced the precalculus review material with a combination of a review quiz with retake, a review homework assignment, and review of particular concepts as they appear as part of the calculus material. This integrated review technique allows for a review when it is most needed and frees up some time in the class schedule to spend on difficult topics later in the course. However, students can find the review quiz and assignment intimidating and we are unsure if the integrated review leads to a more effective use of the skills when they do show up in the course material compared to the regular review. So we conducted an experiment where both Kim and Henry taught two sections of Calculus in a semester, one with the Precalculus review at the beginning and one with integrated review with some common exam questions that involve precalculus skills. We will discuss the design of the experiment and its results.