Students struggle with trig integration and trig substitution.
This semester, I wanted to determine whether student recipe cards were busy work or useful/important to enhancing student learning.
Every semester I have my students write their own recipe cards for trig integration and trig substitution in calc II. They use these recipe cards on practice problems they do in groups, a "project" they do on their own, and then on the exam over integration. Thinking this might be busy work, I decided to not require students to write them.
I compared results from practice problem sets, a project, and also exams between previous semesters (4 in total) that used recipe cards vs. this semester that did not. On average, the semesters where students wrote their own recipes had an 85% success rate as compared to 65% this semester on the assignments.
After completeing this assessment I will continue to have the students write and use their recipe cards. These recipe cards are a way for students to explain to themselves, in their own words, how to solve particular problems. This has shown me that recipe cards are beneficial in helping the students retain the information but more importantly aids in the understanding of the process and not trying to memorize.
This assessment assesses the CLO of "Students will pick the most appropriate tool/technique to solving a problem" as well as the ILO of written communication.