Miami Dade Coloege (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2017 Proceedings
Publication year: 2017
Pages: 585-595
ISBN: 978-84-617-8491-2
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2017.0273
Conference name: 11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 6-8 March, 2017
Location: Valencia, Spain
The starting point of this work arise from the reports of The US Department of Education and the American Psychological Association: “U.S. students continue to lag behind their international counterparts in mathematics”. One may be surprised that such situation occurs in the cradle of gigantic math software and computers originators.

The high level of technology development and commercialization, while the instructional platform was not technologically prepared, has paradoxically impacted math education, especially in countries with high level of intelligent device accessibility. The technology was used to search for a quick solution, but not to strengthen the concepts, consequently, math education has slipped backwards. Finding solutions to escalating problems was a compromised position when realizing this work. Obtained results revealed a great provision to overcome the problem and the importance of curricula improvement in today digital revolution to stop its paradoxical effect.

This investigation is a continuation of the previously developed with College Algebra Students reported at the 2014 International HICE and 2016-INTED Conferences, but in this case, the investigation was directed to the Business Calculus Students. This is a two years’ investigation in real classes. Learning materials include computer software and smart apps, in addition to a Business Calculus Notebook specially prepared for technologically featured class. In addition to traditional calculus topics, a group of challenging computer aided exercises and procedures were incorporated which requires genuinely math understanding: Microsoft Excel was used to calculate the limits. The derivatives were portrayed with technology; by generating the secant and tangent lines at the given points, the students re-discovered the definitions of a derivative as a limit, as two points of a function get infinitesimally close, they also re-discovered the relationship between differentiability and continuity, and the interpretation of instantaneous rate of change. A group of challenging exercises served to teach how to optimize the profit, the material consumption, the traffic light timeline intervals, the optimal route of evacuation in case of a catastrophe, and other real case examples. Some new copyrighted examples, as well as, traditional exercises adapted to this new teaching approach are exhibited in this work.

Previously listed examples are part of the notebook content (the student can download the notebook in digital format for free, or acquire at The notebook also has a digital extension with links to Microsoft Mathematics add-in and Wolfram Alpha engine, facilitating the computer analysis of each question or topic included in the notebook. The math software serves to support the handwritten operation and mental analysis.

Implemented technologically featured procedure has confirmed that when students are equipped with appropriate methods and tools, they understand mathematics better, begin to enjoy it, and consequently they succeed in this discipline.

The moral support received from the Miami Dade College administration, positive feedbacks from students, increment of the average grade and passing rate, and supporting opinion from peers, confirm the suitability of proposed teaching method to improve math learning. These results give me the desired confidence to share this work with the international community in extended format.
Innovation, technology, research projects, Business Calculus.