13 Oct 2016: Seminar, Jonathan Kress @ School of Mathematics and Statistics, UNSW

The next UNSW Mathematics and Statistics Teaching and Learning Seminar will be next week on Thursday at 4pm. Everyone is welcome.

Title: Improving mathematical communication skills with individualised peer assessed assignments.
Speaker: Jonathan Kress
Time and Date: 4pm Thursday 13th October
Place: School of Mathematics and Statistics Common Room RC-3082. (Red Centre building)

In semester 1 this year an assignment was introduced to MATH1031 Mathematics for Life Sciences to help improve the feedback that students get on their mathematical writing and give them practice with incorporating mathematics in a typed document.  Feedback on this assignment was provided by tutors, using the turnitin grademark interface, and peers using the Moodle workshop tool.

The assignment came in three parts.  The first part involved reviewing a video showing how topics from the course were used by practitioners from their chosen discipline.  In the second part, students had to present typed answers to a unique pair of questions presented by Maple TA and were allowed to check their calculations before submission.  Finally, students had to assess and rank their own work and that of their peers, and in doing so were asked to think critically about what constitutes clear mathematical exposition.

To allow tutors to spend time marking the assignment, basic skills, that were previously assessed in written class tests and marked by hand, were instead assessed with supervised electronic class tests in the Red-Centre labs.

In this seminar I will discuss the motivations behind these changes, how it was implemented and how well it achieved its aims.

After the seminar there will be an opportunity to continue discussion over wine and cheese.

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