Go Figure: Calculus Students Use of Figures and Graphs in Technical Report Writing

Thomas J. PfaffIthaca College
Michael RogersIthaca College
Ali ErkanIthaca College
Jason G. HamiltonIthaca College


Understanding how to read and use graphs to communicate scientific and mathematical information is critical for STEM majors, as well as an important part of quantitative literacy. Our study suggests that first-semester calculus students do not know how to use graphs in a technical report without explicit instruction. Although not a surprising result, it leaves us wondering about when such skills are developed, and if calculus I is a place to start. Our work is now exploring the potential benefit on students\' use of graphs by having them formally evaluate other students\' reports.

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