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‘Development and evaluation of a partially-automated approach to the assessment of undergraduate mathematics’

Next month I will present at the 8th British Congress of Mathematics Education, the “largest mathematics and mathematics education conference in the UK” which “brings together teachers from early years to higher education, researchers, teacher educators, CPD providers, consultants, policy makers, examiners and professional and academic mathematicians”, according to its website.

My talk is part of the research strand of the conference, organised by the British Society for Research into Learning Mathematics. This society is “for people interested in research in mathematics education”, and I am a member.

I’m presenting the ‘what I did’ portion of my PhD; well, most of it. Anyway, the peer-reviewed proceedings have now been published. My article is ‘Development and evaluation of a partially-automated approach to the assessment of undergraduate mathematics‘. The abstract is below.

"Developing a Healthy Scepticism About Technology in Mathematics Teaching"

I have an article in the current issue of the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics (Vol 3, Issue 1). The title is Developing a Healthy Scepticism About Technology in Mathematics Teaching. This will be a chapter of my PhD thesis and provides some background context. I am following a model in which teaching draws on a body of theory which is based on scholarship as well as reflective evaluation of previous experience. So as well as a literature survey, I present a reflective account of experiences which have taken place alongside, but outside of, my PhD research that have shaped my thinking.

This journal is an online-only, diamond open-access, peer-reviewed journal with an emphasis on “the aesthetic, cultural, historical, literary, pedagogical, philosophical, psychological, and sociological aspects as we look at mathematics as a human endeavor”. They publish “articles that focus mainly on the doing of mathematics, the teaching of mathematics, and the living of mathematics”. (Quotes from the Journal’s About page.)

My article’s synopsis is:

A reflective account is presented of experiences which took place alongside a research project and caused a change in approach to be more sceptical about implementation of learning technology. A critical evaluation is given of a previous e-assessment research project, undertaken from a position of naive enthusiasm for learning technology. Experiences of teaching classes and designing assessment tasks lead to doubts regarding the extent to which the previous project encouraged deep learning and contributed to graduate skills development. Investigations of the benefits of another technology—in-class response systems—lead to revelations about learning technology: its enthusiastic introduction in isolation cannot be expected to produce educational benefit; instead it must address some pedagogic need and should be evaluated against this. Overall, these experiences contribute to a shift away from a naive enthusiasm to an approach based on careful consideration of educational need before technology implementation.

Download the PDF of this article here.

P.S. Sorry the blog has become rather infrequent and quite education-focused. I am currently splitting my time between teaching and writing my thesis, so I have little time for anything else. My employment contract is only to teach until May and my thesis is due in July.

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