Sharing Mathematics 2016
- Date: 05/19/2016
Kseniya Garaschuk (University of British Columbia) Group exams in mathematics courses
Richard Taylor (Thompson Rivers University) Calculus Readiness: Assessing assessment tests
Justin Gray (Simon Fraser University) Pushing the Envelope with Online Learning
Jim Bailey (College of the Rockies) and Nora Franzova (Langara College) Experiences using open source textbooks in calculus and precalculus
Glen van Brummelen (Quest University) Tabula Rasa: Designing a University and a Mathematics Program from the Ground Up
Panel Discussion on Help Centres:
Justin Gray (SFU)
Paul Ottaway (Capilano)
Jim Bailey (College of the Rockies)
Jane Butterfield (UVic)
Columbia College, 438 Terminal Ave, Vancouver, BC, Room 550 / 560
Program design, course delivery, and student assessment
Registration for this conference is free and optional, but would help with organizing.
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As we use more and more group work in our classes, should we consider introducing it into our assessments? One model that has been used are so-called two-stage assessments, where students first complete and turn in the questions individually and then, working in small groups, answer the same questions again. This technique was first introduced in the UBC Faculty of Science in 2009 and is now being used in at least 20 science courses.
In this session, we will discuss a study of feasibility and effectiveness of two-stage quizzes as introduced into two mathematics courses at UBC with a total of 834 students. We examine both short and long term retention resulting from introducing group assessments, we analyze results of collaborative learning based on question type and group composition. Finally, we present student and instructor feedback as well as discuss future directions of implementation and research.
9:45 - 10:30 Richard Taylor Calculus Readiness: Assessing assessment tests
Many math departments give a "calculus readiness test" to assess whether incoming students are prepared for Calculus 1. Unable to find evidence that these tests have any predictive value (e.g. correlation with success or failure in the course) I set out to assess the value of the test used at Thompson Rivers University. Initial results were discouraging: we learned that most of our favorite test questions actually had little predictive value! Using data on responses to individual test questions, we have improved our test over the past two years. In this talk I will illustrate this approach to making readiness tests more useful.
10:30 - 10-:45 Break
10:45 - 11:30 Justin Gray Pushing the Envelope with Online Learning
11:30 - 12:15 Jim Bailey and Nora Franzova Experiences using open source textbooks in calculus and precalculus
We will talk briefly about where to find open source textbooks and then summarize our experiences using some of them.
- Nora: College Algebra, by Stitz and Zeager (a BCcampus recommended textbook). This textbook has been used for 6 semesters by now, and students had a chance to respond through a questionnaire that we have administered and analyzed. The good, the bad and the average will be pointed from the questionnaire and from personal experience.
- Jim: Calculus (differential, integral, multivariable, and vector)
- Jim: Calculus - Early Transcendentals by Guichard, Koblitz, Keisler. It has been used for 6 semesters.
- Jim: Differential Equations: Elementary Differential Equations with Boundary Value Problems by William Trench. It has been used for 1 semester
- Jim: Introductory Business Statistics: Collaborative Statistics by Barbara Illowsky and Susan Dean (a BCcampus reviewed textbook). It has been used for 2 semesters.
- Jim: Astronomy: a variety of open source and online materials. I have done this for 1 semester. Jim is considering open textbooks for: Linear Algebra and Introduction to Proofs.
12:15 - 1:30 Lunch break
1:30 - 2:15 Glen van Brummelen Tabula Rasa: Designing a University and a Mathematics Program from the Ground Up
What happens when you take away all the rules? At Quest University, an experiment in undergraduate liberal arts education, we found ourselves with the unique opportunity and challenge of designing a degree from scratch. We will see some of the design features of the curriculum overall and their motivations. Then, we shall describe the unique mathematics requirement in the foundation program and its learning outcomes. Finally, we shall examine the upper-level offerings and explore some of the keystone projects created by graduating students in mathematics. The experience has led us to question deeply the ways in which we approach undergraduate education, and sometimes (although not always!) to find answers.
2:15 - 3:30 Panel discussion on Help Centres. Panelists will include Justin Gray (SFU), Paul Ottaway (Capilano), Jim Bailey (College of the Rockies), and Jane Butterfield (UVic)