Presented by Dr Jonathan Kress, Dr Adelle Coster, Dr Chi Mak (School of Mathematics and Statistics)
First year mathematics courses aim to equip students with not only computational and problem solving abilities, but also an understanding of underlying principles and the ability to effectively communicate mathematical concepts and ideas. However, both student expectations and assessment tasks have tended to focus on computation, where achievement is easier to quantify, to the detriment of deeper understanding and communication which are needed more than ever in the modern technical workplace.
This year, MATH1031 Mathematics for Life Sciences incorporated an assignment that aimed to increase the focus of assessment and feedback on the development of mathematical communication skills. Students were encouraged to think critically about what constitutes effective communication of mathematical ideas. To achieve this, each student was give a unique assignment and asked to check their calculations using Maple TA before submission. They were then asked to assess and rank their own work and that of their peers using the Moodle workshop tool.
In this seminar, the presenters will discuss how this was implemented, why this approach was taken, how it overcame past problems with student assignments in large first year mathematics courses and how well it achieved its goals.
Room 1025, Level 10, Library (back entrance near IT service centre)