Carroll College: Clicker Questions and Chapter Zero for Active Calculus

One of the most enjoyable aspects of this free and open textbook project has been all of the new friends I’ve made in the mathematics community.  I just got to see several of them in Portland at Mathfest, including Eric Sullivan of Carroll College in Helena, MT.

As we caught up in person, Eric shared some exciting updates from his department.  In addition to choosing to adopt Active Calculus as their calculus textbook at Carroll, they have developed several additions:  a 6-section “Chapter 0” that provides a review of key precalculus topics, several new sections on differential equations for use in their modeling course (in Chapter 7), and a concluding section (for Chapter 8) on the “Functional DNA” perspective on Taylor series that was coined by Travis Kowalski. (By the way, you can read Travis’s outstanding article in PRIMUS, a college math teaching journal for which I am associate editor.)

Besides these fine additions to the actual text itself, Eric and his colleagues have incorporated a full set of clicker questions along with the activities workbook, building a version of the activities workbook that has the clicker questions included in print.  These clicker questions were originally developed as part of two NSF-funded projects at Carroll (MathQuest and MathVote), which you can investigate further at

In the not distant future I expect to have these additional resources posted in some form on the Active Calculus site I maintain; for now you can see them for yourself at the Carroll math department’s home page for the free texts they are using.  Be sure to check out the links to the first two .pdf files there, which are the expanded version of the text and the activities workbook with clicker questions, respectively.

When I started this project (initial planning in fall 2010), I had a fuzzy vision for the possibility of something like this:  building not just a free text, but one that others could take and modify/adjust/adapt to better serve their local purposed.  I’m grateful to Eric and his colleagues (Kelly Cline, Phil Rose, John Scharf, & Ted Wendt) for their work and contributions here, resulting in this fine example of how a department can customize the text.


One comment

  1. Thanks for the shout out!

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