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Discussion: Roundtable
Topic: Authoring tool for mathlets


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Subject:   Authoring tool for mathlets
Author: Joel Duffin
Date: Sep 4 2003
As part of my dissertation research I have created a web-based authoring tool
designed to help teachers reuse and adapt mathlets. It can be accessed at:

http://matti.usu.edu/tadriola/

Some of the unique aspects of the tool are:

-The configuration (appearance and behavior) of mathlets can be configured by
interacting with them and by using forms.

-Activity text and questions can be written using a WYSIWIG editor.

-Existing lessons can be easily reused and adapted.

I am currently working to enhance it so that problems can be easily written that
judge the state of applets.

I've conducted focus groups with around 80 middle school math teachers so far
and used their feedback to improve the tool.

The tool is freely available and will remain so at the website I gave the URL
for.

Example lessons that were created with the tool are:

Symmetry and Transformations
http://matti.usu.edu :9090/tadriola/server/nav/toc.jsp?sid=southcache&cid=geometry_9

Perimeter, Area, and Fractions
http://matti.usu.edu :9090/tadriola/server/nav/activity.jsp?sid=southcache&cid=demo&lid=1

I've used the first set of lessons with students in a 9th grade geometry class
and had good feedback from the students and the teacher I worked with. I also
received a lot of data on how it could be improved.

Please feel free to use the tool to create lessons and use them with your
students. I welcome email providing feedback, suggestions, or requests for
specific functionality that isn't now present. Note, that it is a work in
progress and you will need a certain level of toleration for software that isn't
fully functional. Note also that authoring can only currently be done on a PC.
Once created, lessons can be viewed on either on a PC or a Mac.


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