DOI: 10.5176/2251-1814_EeL49

Authors: Mu-Yu Ting


Curriculum design is not easy to undertake.Teachers have no efficient time to edit and produce relevant teaching resources. Teachers’ course arrangement influences the achievement of students learning calculus. Gagne accepted a certain goal and from it went back to analyze the ability for learning the ultimate goal until very simple and most basic ability unit was found. Gagne called learning hierarchy. When students lack anything to refer to, their learning will become a mechanical memory of a message or a procedure. Usually it is a temporary and useless learning. In the teaching experiment the author tried to improve the success rates in several calculus courses of hers. Details of the process of taking her calculus courses are described as follows. Some freshman students in a certain university did not show any remarkable difference in the calculus pretest. In the first semester, for one group of students there was the continuous calculus curriculum for three hours on two continuous days every week; for the other group of students, the curricular arrangement was more reasonable, with two hours on Tuesday and one hour on Friday to allow students to have sufficient time to review the new curriculum. However, though there was a favorable response to the experiment, there was no study conducted on the effectiveness of these two different program arrangements. Some scholars felt that there was more needed to be done to improve students’ success rates. There were one hundred and three freshmen students coming from that university, including ninety-nine boys and four girls participating in the study. The author started teaching calculus under the new program arrangements. In the next semester the curriculum arrangement for the two groups of students exchanged. Regular examination results were used to evaluate and dissect the effects of this method. The experiment lasted thirty-six weeks. During the period of time, eight assessments, two midterm exams and two final exams were given. After each examination, the course instructor attempted to assess the results.

Keywords: curriculum design; learning hierarchy; Calculus

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