In this paper I give the details of the University of Alaska Southeast
Math Department experience in planning and implementing calculus
reform. I also discuss the problems we came across trying to balance
our academic needs with concerns about our student enrollment.
With a great enthusiasm we initiated the calculus reform a year ago.
We adopted the Purdue approach, and taught calculus courses in
computer equipped classrooms with instruction based on
experiential learning and work in cooperative groups. The
percentage of students successfully completing the calculus courses
was better then ever; however, the reforms had a negative impact
both on the number of students who continued with math sequence
and on the number of new students enrolling in calculus.
After careful consideration we have decided that a gradual
approach to calculus reform is more suitable for our institution. We
are cooperating closely with math faculty on our satellite campuses
and are sharing our vision with our science faculty and
administrators. We have adopted more traditional texts and are
moving forward with innovations such as writing projects,
cooperative learning in groups, and a use of computer algebra system
(MapleV) in problem solving.
Vesna Kilibarda, University of Alaska, Juneau