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Krista and Tim Lucas Publish Article on Using Slopes Mobile App to Enhance Learning in Ordinary Differential Equations

January 11, 2022  | 1 min read

Krista and Tim Lucas of the Natural Science Division recently published an article in Problems, Resources, and Issues in Mathematics Undergraduate Studies (PRIMUS) entitled “Using Slopes to Enhance Learning in Ordinary Differential Equations.” The study seeks to understand how Slopes, a mobile application, supports student understanding of differential equations topics.

Tim Lucas, professor of mathematics, designed the mobile application Slopes with a team of Pepperdine University students. As active learning in classrooms has become increasingly important, the app was created to visualize solutions to ordinary differential equations and support mathematics students in building their understanding through experimentation and collaboration.

For this study, Krista Lucas, visiting assistant professor of biology who specializes in science education research, observed group activities using Slopes in Tim’s ordinary differential equations class and conducted focus groups. Together, Krista and Tim analyzed the observations and examined students’ final poster projects to determine the benefits of the mobile app.

“We found that students used Slopes to visualize solutions, aid in discussion and cooperation, and demonstrate understanding of differential equations concepts,” the study shares. “In response to the statement, ‘I feel that using Slopes increased my understanding of the mathematical models in my project,’ 23 of the 24 students [surveyed] indicated some degree of agreement.”

To read the full study, visit the Problems, Resources, and Issues in Mathematics Undergraduate Studies journal. To learn more about Slopes, find it on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.