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hburgiel
Were the mathlets helpful? Animations and applets can provide valuable insight to the visual learner. They can also be confusing or discouraging, and might distract a student from more valuable study tools. Did you find the mathlets in this course helpful in mastering the content? Why or why not? Do you have suggestions for improvement? Answer here or, to be sure we record your comments, send them by email to ocw@mit.edu with the words "18.01 Mathlet" in the subject line.
The mathlets are clear, but when I use them for the exercises then I get confused. For example, when they say to find the slope of the tangent line, I don't know if their talking about the red tangent line or the yellow tangent line.
Thanks for the feedback! In this mathlet the yellow line is a "secant" line -- it usually crosses the graph in two places. The red line is a "tangent" line -- at the point of tangency it is going in the same direction as the graph and just barely touches the graph.
As a visual learner, I would probably have found them useful if I hadn't already done similar things with pencil and paper, and spreadsheet/graphing applications. As it is, I looked them over, was impressed with the workmanship, and then didn't use them. Don't minimize the benefits to the kinesthetic learner - grabbing things and dragging them around are what works best for them.
I've found the mathlets handy for visualizing the basic concepts, without having to do repeated monotonous graphing myself. Very handy for those of us who don't have a graphing calculator, and who haven't yet learned the ins-and-outs of graphing software.
I just started Session 1, and found the mathlet very helpful. The detailed step by step instructions helped me to see what I was supposed to be learning about, and the visualization facilitated that learning. Good Job, friends!
Maybe there was something wrong with my PC but red tangent seemed to be an orange line. I think it would be great if we could type the values of \[ \Delta x\] and x in addition to the current features.