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Active Calculus Updated 2018 Edition

Active Calculus - single variable is designed to support an active learning approach in the standard first two semesters of calculus, including approximately 200 activities and 500 exercises. In the HTML version, more than 250 of the exercises are available as anonymous interactive WeBWorK exercises. The bound, print version for sale on Amazon is in black and white to keep costs low; the electronic versions are full-color.

Through direct request to the author by email (boelkinm at gvsu dot edu), a range of ancillary materials are available to instructors, including WeBWorK .def files, activities workbooks (.pdf files that include only the activities along with room for students to write), Geogebra computer laboratory exercises for chapters 1-4, and daily prep assignments to support students reading the text and completing preview activities in advance of class. Both the HTML and PDF versions include answers to activities and exercises in appendices in the back. Additional resources are available from Carroll College (Helena, MT), an early adopter of the text whose faculty have made some useful additions including a Chapter 0 precalculus review, clicker questions for the entire text, and a couple of additional sections on modeling with difference equations.

If your department does not have easy access to WeBWorK, we recommend that you consider Edfinity, a new low cost online platform that provides an easy-to-use and modern interface with access to the database of WeBWorK problems. In particular, at the Active Calculus page on Edfinity's site, you'll find an already established collection of problem sets that align with the text.

Instructors are strongly encouraged to have their students use the Activities Workbooks (there's on for chapters 1-4, another for chapters 5-8, roughly corresponding to differential and integral calculus). Each workbook is simply a PDF document that has a single activity per page along with room for students to record their work and thinking. Instructors can provide students with the PDF, have their bookstore or copy center create coursepacks for students to purchase for a small fee, or purchase a bound workbook directly from Amazon (chapters 1-4, chapters 5-8). To acquire a PDF copy of the Activities Workbooks, please contact the author directly: boelkinm at gvsu dot edu.

There’s a related online resource that users absolutely shouldn’t miss: the MTH 201 and MTH 202 playlists on the GVSU Math YouTube page. The 92 videos for MTH 201 correspond to chapters 1-4, and the screencasts are listed in order by section number. The 92 videos for MTH 202 correspond to chapters 5-8.

Each section of the text has at least 3 in-class activities to engage students in active learning. The section on the tangent line approximation is representative of the organization and style of other sections in the text: a brief introduction together with a preview activity, followed by a mix of exposition and several more activities. Each section concludes with a short summary and exercises; the non-WeBWorK exercises are typically involved and challenging. More information on our goals and the structure of the text can be found in the preface.

The author maintains an email list of interested users (you can request inclusion by emailing him directly: boelkinm at gvsu dot edu) and communicates a few times a year with updates to the community. We also post updates and related information on the opencalculus blog.

Active Calculus - single variable was first made publicly available in January 2013. The PDF version has been downloaded over 100,000 times since August 2014. The text is free and open-source; the source code can be found on GitHub.