Engage Your Calculus Students with Explore Its

Peer Advice & Teaching Tips
Reading Time: 3 minutes

As you prepare your Calculus course for next semester, have you considered the ways you can use Explore Its to deeply engage your students?

If you’d like to make your lectures interactive, or help students correlate concepts and application, consider using Explore Its into your Calculus course.

What are Explore Its?

Explore Its are interactive learning modules where students learn a concept, watch a video, explore and test the concept. Calculus Explore Its also enable students to discover when they would use the concept in the real world. Instructors can assign Explore Its to students, or access them through the ebook.

How to Apply Explore Its to Your Calculus Course

Calculus Explore It

Explore Its for Calculus are condensed presentations of major topics broken into four tabs to serve a variety of class needs. These tabs include:

  1. Concept: A picture (“real life”) side-by-side with a graph (“math”) to provide a quick visual example of what the students will learn about.
    • How To Use It: Incorporate this into your lecture to introduce students to a topic, review a concept or motivate students to be on the lookout for how Calculus can be applied in the real world.
  2. Example Video: Self-guided instruction and visualization of a topic with narration.
    • How To Use It: Break up your lecture and share it with students to enhance understanding or even assign it along with a textbook reading.
  3. Explore and Test: Interactive graphs or figures that allow students to explore and test a topic using simulations and animations.
    • How To Use It: Instructors can use this in place of hand-drawn pictures in their lectures. Additionally, they can assign corresponding homework problems to encourage students to interact with the topic.
  4. When Would I Use This: This tab provides examples of how the topic may be used outside of math class, with pictures to bridge the gap between Calculus concepts and the real world.
    • How To Use It: Use this tab as an “ice breaker” to a class lecture or as test material to ensure students understand the concept and real world application.

How to Assign Explore Its

Explore Its are currently available for Calculus, Precalculus and College Algebra titles with Stewart, Larson and more.

Calculus Explore It


To add them to an assignment:

  1. Navigate to the question browser.
  2. Select a chapter and section from the textbook.
  3. Choose ‘Micro View’ from the Display Options and click the ‘Update Listing’ button. This will allow you to see all questions included in this section.
  4. Find the questions labelled ‘.EI’ or use ‘CTRL+F’ to search ‘.EI’ and quickly highlight Explore It questions.
  5. Choose an Explore It question and add it to your desired assignment.


How to Use Explore Its Outside of an Assignment

Students and instructors can access Explore Its, as well as other interactive learning aids, through the MindTap Reader ebook. Simply click on Media Index after opening your ebook.

Calculus Explore Its