in at least one of the three questions, while barely more than one-third
of the students in the experimental group did. This suggests that the
main effect of the CDF lab was to help students focus less on the
mathematical computations and formulae and more on the biology.
Possible Modifications and other uses
We recommend creating a how-to-use-a-CDF exercise for students
unfamiliar with computer-based work. You could easily make other
versions to teach different math-intensive exercises (e.g., life tables,
Lotka-Volterra equations, or a graphing tutorial). Also, for ease in
grading or for hybrid or online classes, this exercise can be embedded within the LMS (e.g., Moodle) to include boxes for short-answer responses, multiple-choice questions, etc.
The interactive CDF elements shown in the figures can be downloaded here: Figure 1A, Figure 1B, Figure 2, Figure 3A, Figure 3B,
Figure 4, and Figure 5. You will need to download the free stand-alone
Mathematica CDF player ( https://www.wolfram.com/cdf-player/) to
open the files.
Columbia College Chicago’s Center for Innovation in Teaching
Excellence for an Innovation Fellowship to ECDB and DRJ, Science
and Mathematics Department for funding, our reviewers for their
comments, Science and Mathematics Department and Wolfram
Research for access to Mathematica, Kimberly Koverman’s and
ECDB’s students for their participation. IRB #214-00171 exempt.
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ELIZABETH C. DAVIS-BERG is an Associate Professor of Biology in the
Science and Mathematics Department at Columbia College Chicago, 600 S.
Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605; email firstname.lastname@example.org. DANIEL R.
JORDAN is an Associate Professor of Mathematics in the Science and
Mathematics Department at Columbia College Chicago, 600 S. Michigan
Ave, Chicago, IL 60605; email email@example.com.