Technological tools to learn calculus
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Online learning tools have allowed professors to carry out their classes in an interactive way, synchronic as well as asynchronic, giving them the opportunity to explore from different points of view specific themes or concepts, achieving greater dynamism in their classes through the active participation of students. This article presents the results of the implementation of an software tool for massive use designed with the objective of allowing Engineering students to strengthen their basic mathematical knowledge as well as to improve their results in courses such as Calculus I and Mathematics I. These courses are part of the first semesters of the syllabus for all undergraduate programs of the School of Engineering, and are basic courses in the formation of an engineer at Universidad EAFIT (Medellin, Colombia). This software tool for massive use allows students to self-diagnose, to solve exercises with different levels of complexity and difficulty, to visualize academic contents such as video classes and virtual resources, and to know their evolution in the understanding of basic concepts in calculus. On one hand, this facilitates the beginning of their studies at the university. On the other, it gives the professor an initial diagnose of the level students have to start the course so that continuous analytics can be performed based on the learning process of the student. Furthermore, this article shows the results of a comparative analysis done to two groups of students, a Control group and an Experimental group, that took Calculus I as part of their undergraduate studies. The experiment lasted two months with testing done at the beginning and at the end of the course. The objective was to register the level of knowledge acquired by the students and compare the differences between the two groups, control and experimental. The testing also allowed the progress of the student between tests to be measured, taking into account that the experimental group had the opportunity to explore the platform during this two-month period. Therefore, the analysis performed served to gather information useful for evaluating the effectiveness of the proposed system in the learning process of the students at the University. © 2015 IEEE.