In case you missed this article in IJISME late last year – Mastery Learning to Address the Assumed Mathematics Knowledge Gap Encourage Learning and Reflection, and Future-proof Academic Performance, by Layna Groen, Mary Coupland, Julia Memar, Tim Langtry. Using mastery learning to help underprepared students is showing some promising results at UTS.
Also listed on our Resources/Teaching page under Dealing with student diversity
The Mathematical Association of America (MAA) has recently released a report on why so many students who succeed in high school calculus then struggle in first year college calculus. While the US education system has challenges related to specifics of secondary education and curriculum, there are many similarities with the challenges for mathematics education here.
In particular the report highlights the mismatch between students’ high level of confidence entering first year and their subsequent failure or low grades. It is also clear that while some students can master advanced concepts, they do not have a solid enough background in more fundamental mathematical concepts.
An article in the US Conversation about the report states,
“the crux of the problem: students lacking the requisite foundational abilities may not succeed because the college faculty member expects them to be at ease with these more basic ideas, freeing them to absorb and understand the new, more conceptual material.”
The new website Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT) is now online. It allows students (and others) to compare universities and disciplines in the form of graphs using data from the University Experience Survey, Course Experience Survey, Employer Satisfaction Survey and Graduate Destination Survey.
Some comments so far……
Editorial comment on CMM about QILT.
Foundation for Young Australians
Editorial article by Deb King in Fairfax press Compulsory maths: it’s an answer in search of a problem
The AustMS website is the home of the on-line professional development unit Effective Teaching, Effective Learning in the Quantitative Disciplines. The unit was developed under an ALTC grant, by a project team of mathematicians, and is now in its fifth year. The unit will be coordinated from La Trobe in 2015 (on behalf of the AustMS Standing Committee on Mathematics Education).
The unit is available free to AustMS members, and also to reciprocal members. The modules are available for all to view; by formally enrolling and completing three assessment tasks, participants can receive a certificate of completion. By negotiation with your home institution, you may be able to substitute this discipline-based unit for more generic teaching-and-learning training that they require, or as one unit in a Graduate Certificate of Higher Education, as some participants have already done.
The unit is suitable both for tutors and lecturers. The assessment tasks must be completed when one is teaching a class, as they involve production of teaching and assessment materials and reflection upon them.
The unit will commence in early March for first semester participants. It is also intended to run in second semester. It can also be taken across both semesters.
For more information, visit the unit website. The unit outline, which includes details of assessment, may be viewed there.
Or contact the unit coordinator Dr Katherine Seaton firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are considering ways of developing a supportive local culture around teaching practice the Peer Review of Teaching project may be of interest to you. This site has a number of videos and guides to establishing peer review for staff development in teaching. This OLT project was a partnership between Macquarie University (Australia, lead institution), La Trobe University (Australia), Lund University (Sweden) and The University of Pretoria (South Africa).