Technology can be a transforming and enriching tool in the teaching of multivariable calculus. However, the use of technology can also be as much of a distraction to a course as it is an enhancement.
Calculus Online addresses the integration of technology into the
multivariable calculus course by re-inventing the textbook in an online format
where technology and traditional mathematics can appear together in a natural
context. This online textbook was
developed with the support of an NSF-CCLI grant (NSF DUE 9950600), and the
third semester calculus course at
In this article, we describe what Multivariable Calculus Online is and how it can be used to either enhance an existing course or even replace an existing textbook. To begin with, the textbook is located at
with a mirror site at http://faculty.etsu.edu/knisleyj/multicalc/. The animation to the right is from the textbook, but it is only a small sample of the types of interactive tools and illustrations that are found throughout Multivariable Calculus Online.
The textbook as it exists at these locations will be available and free to the public for downloading in parts or as a whole. It is also appropriate for usage in BlackBoard, WebCT, and other course management software.
In the next section, we describe both the local and the global structure of Multivariable Calculus Online, including both how and why it differs from other multivariable textbooks. We will also mix in some of the tools and illustrations from the book as we go, several of which are interactive.