Monday, March 19, 2007

Math Online

Today I delivered a project plan for our board of directors which is focused on repairing knowledge and skill deficiencies in Mathmatics when students are admitted to our university: a considerable amount of students fail the math entrance test which has to be taken at the beginning of the academic year.

The plan is written in close collaboration with colleagues from ITBE, ELAN and the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science. The main objective of the plan is how to use existing (on-line) materials in a blended learning approach. A first analysis on primarily Dutch projects shows that there is already a lot of ready-to-use content (tutorials, readers, exercices, assessments) available in the math domain. In some cases these materials are available for (almost) free, so why develop new materials if a lot can be re-used? It's much more interesting to think about the pedagogical way these materials can be offered to the students. Moreover, it can save a lot of time in order to achieve some quick wins.

In our project plan we distinguish three types of student admission:
  1. those who enter from the highest grade of secondary education (VWO)
  2. those who enter from higher vocational education (pre-master)
  3. those who enter from an international insitute
We have proposed to set focus on the first target group, because that's the largest group and there is already a lot available that can be offered to them. Besides deploying the online materials (also in the highest grades of secondary education) it is especially important to coach their teachers and to create a collaborative setting instead of pointing the finger to someone and saying that he or she is doing something "wrong".

We now have to wait until the meeting with the board (next friday). An interesting aspect is that the plan is delivered together with a corresponding Wiki site. So, a lot of resources and links that are mentioned in the document can also be viewed in an interactive way.


Murray said...

Hello Stanley

This is an interesting project. As you rightly say, it is not worth spending the time developing content and it is much better to plan the learning experience for the students.

You may be interested in my Interactive Mathematics as some of your resource material.


Stanley Portier said...

Hi Murray,
Thanks for your comment. I will surely take a look at your site.