Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


Small-group activities instead of examples: an inquiry-based approach to calculus


Mathematics Department


College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Date Range



Physical Sciences and Mathematics


Historically, calculus texts and calculus instruction have presented students a large number of completed examples. Often, students then solve related problems by emulating work done in the examples. In an effort to instead have students build their own intuition, think more independently, and discover key ideas themselves, I have developed a large (and freely available) collection of activities that engage students in learning calculus in a more inquiry-based style. In this talk, I will share some sample activities, discuss the structure of a typical class meeting, and reflect upon student feedback and outcomes with this approach. (FYI, I am giving a second presentation as well that has already been accepted. That one is on points-free, standards-based grading and is based on recent work that I've done in some of my GVSU courses.)

Conference Name

Joint Meetings of the AMS and MAA

Conference Location

San Antonio, TX

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