An alternative learning experience in transition level mathematics

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QUT Mathematical Sciences Seminar series, November 1 2013

Traditionally at QUT, mathematics and statistics are taught using a face-to-face lecture/tutorial model involving large lecture classes for around 1/2 to 3/4 of the time and smaller group tutorials for the remainder of the time. This is also one of the main models for teaching at other campus-based institutions. Recently, in response to (learning) technology advances and changes in the ways learners seek education, QUT has made a significant commitment to a “Digital Transformation” project across the university. In this seminar I will present a technical overview, with some demonstrations, of a pilot project that seeks to investigate how digital transformation might work in a QUT mathematics or statistics subject. In particular, I will discuss the use of tablet PC technology and specialist software to produce video learning packages. This approach has been trialled in a transition level mathematics unit this semester. I will also cover integration of these learning packages with QUTs Learning Management System “Blackboard”. This seminar is a technical preview to another talk I will give early in the new year that will look at the impact of the altered learning experience on student outcomes, feedback and the unit itself.

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An alternative learning experience in transition level mathematics

  1. 1. An alternative learning experience in transition level mathematics Screen captured lectures, collaborative activities, and more Dann Mallet QUT Mathematical Sciences Mallet (QUT Math Sci) Transition mathematics trial 1 / 32
  2. 2. Outline Outline 1 Introduction and context 2 Collaborative learning ideas 3 Recording lecture videos 4 SCORM packages 5 Results – engagement Mallet (QUT Math Sci) Transition mathematics trial 2 / 32
  3. 3. Introduction and context Outline 1 Introduction and context 2 Collaborative learning ideas 3 Recording lecture videos 4 SCORM packages 5 Results – engagement Mallet (QUT Math Sci) Transition mathematics trial 3 / 32
  4. 4. Introduction and context Introduction and context The unit – MAB105 Preparatory Mathematics The most elementary maths unit QUT offers Among the most diverse cohorts (unit does not belong in any course) “Like” high school mathematics, steep learning curve Fundamental to vast number of degree programs Recently lost favour, but being reborn! Mallet (QUT Math Sci) Transition mathematics trial 4 / 32
  5. 5. Introduction and context Introduction and context The unit – MAB105 Content Properties of the number system Basic algebra Functions and equations, graphs Linear functions – equations and applications Systems of linear equations Non-linear functions quadratic, exponential, logarithmic, trig: properties, applications Introduction to calculus rates of change, derivatives, rules of differentiation, optimization, applications Mallet (QUT Math Sci) Transition mathematics trial 5 / 32
  6. 6. Introduction and context Introduction and context The unit – MAB105 Learning outcomes 1 Solve straightforward equations and draw and interpret graphs of one independent variable. 2 Understand the concepts involved with functions and functional notation and in particular know the properties associated with quadratic, exponential, logarithmic and trigonometric functions and applications of same. 3 Understand the concepts involved with rates of change, derivatives, maxima, minima and integration. 4 Engage in analytical thinking skills and communicate clearly and concisely in mathematical language. Mallet (QUT Math Sci) Transition mathematics trial 6 / 32
  7. 7. Introduction and context Introduction and context The unit – MAB105 Assessment Semester/Year Items & weighting 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Participation/Assignments 40%, ES Exam 60% Assignments 20%, MS Exam 20%, ES Exam 60% PST 40%, ES Exam 60% PST 60%, ES Exam 40% PST 60%, ES Exam 40% PST 60%, ES Exam 40% Fairly “standard” mathematics assessment style: heavy on exam and assignment Mallet (QUT Math Sci) Transition mathematics trial 7 / 32
  8. 8. Introduction and context Introduction and context The unit – MAB105: Enrolments MAB105 Enrolments 2008-2013 150 100 2/13 1/13 2/12 1/12 2/11 1/11 2/10 1/10 2/09 1/09 2/08 50 1/08 Enrolments 200 Semester Mallet (QUT Math Sci) Transition mathematics trial 8 / 32
  9. 9. Introduction and context Introduction and context The unit – MAB105: Results Percentage of all students MAB105 Grade distribution (all students) 2008-2013 30 20 10 0 Mallet (QUT Math Sci) K 1 2 3 4 Grade 5 Transition mathematics trial 6 7 9 / 32
  10. 10. Introduction and context Introduction and context How has MAB105 evolved? Long transition – my involvement: since 2001 First press: handwritten OHTs, textbook, lectures. A Introduced booklet of LTEX ed notes (AC Farr, DG Mallet) text aligned, inbuilt worksheets, reduced dependence on f2f A Introduced set of LTEX ed lecture slides (fill in the gap style) (AC Farr) text/notes aligned, reduced dependence on f2f Introduced workbook-style version of booklet (AC Farr) further reduced dependence on f2f Mallet (QUT Math Sci) Transition mathematics trial 10 / 32
  11. 11. Introduction and context Introduction and context The next step – motivation “Tertiary institutions will be challenged not only to meet growing demand by expanding the number of places offered, but also to adapt programmes and teaching methods to match the diverse needs of a new generation of students.”1 “Today in education, we are witnessing an unbundling of previous network structures. And a rebuilding of new network lock-in models.”2 “We are living in a constantly changing environment. This situation should force teachers to constantly re-think their pedagogical philosophy.”3 1 2 3 OECD, 2013, Education at a glance 2013: OECD indicators. OECD Publishing. http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/eag-2013-en G. Siemens, Associate Director, Technology Enhanced Knowledge Research Institute, Athabasca University I. Czaplinski, 2012, Affordances of ICTs: An environmental study of a French language unit offered at university level. UQ. Mallet (QUT Math Sci) Transition mathematics trial 11 / 32
  12. 12. Introduction and context Introduction and context The next step – motivation People are doing new, cool things in delivering learning experiences QUT built collaborative learning spaces Students don’t show up “just for lectures/tutorials” Also, national/international agendas... Mallet (QUT Math Sci) Transition mathematics trial 12 / 32
  13. 13. Introduction and context Introduction and context The next step – a summary So what has been done? How much effort was it? What happened? Here’s what students experienced this semester: No f2f lectures Weekly workshops of various styles Problem sheets Expert exemplars Clean and annotated slides Lectures in video form Effort = slightly less. Results: w.r.t students? wait til after exam. Seminar 2 in January w.r.t. me? greater planning, better “product”, more reflection Mallet (QUT Math Sci) Transition mathematics trial 13 / 32
  14. 14. Collaborative learning ideas Outline 1 Introduction and context 2 Collaborative learning ideas 3 Recording lecture videos 4 SCORM packages 5 Results – engagement Mallet (QUT Math Sci) Transition mathematics trial 14 / 32
  15. 15. Collaborative learning ideas Collaborative learning ideas Overview What can we do here? Well, besides mathematics... Team building Communication Technology Let’s take a look at some examples from this year... Mallet (QUT Math Sci) Transition mathematics trial 15 / 32
  16. 16. Collaborative learning ideas Collaborative learning ideas Team building Activity: BOMDAS (you know it? can you do it?) Purpose: Team formation, communication, community building, intro/warm up Possibilities: competitive, enduring identification Workshop 1 MAB105 Preparation and instructions Before commencing the activity, make sure you are in groups of no more than 6 people. You may use pen and paper, whiteboards, glass boards, COWs, calculators and your heads. 1. Give your group a name – decide carefully, you’ll be using it for the rest of semester. 2. Nominate one person in the group to be note-taker. The note-taker will keep a record of discussions and decisions, as well as the final group response. 3. Nominate one person to be the scribbler. They will do any necessary writing and calculating on the whiteboard. 4. Nominate another person to be the reporter. The reporter will report back to the class on the group’s response to the task. 5. All group members should then read the task below. 6. Then the group should work together to attempt to come up with the best possible group responses. 7. Finally, the reporters from each group will report back to the class to see which group has come up with the best responses. Background Let’s say you were given the numbers 5, 6 and 7 and the operations of addition and subtraction. If you must use each number and operation once, and only once, then the largest possible result is 7+6−5 = 8 and the smallest possible result is 5 + 6 − 7 = 4. The task Unexpected: definitions of terms Using each of the numbers 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 once, and only once, and each of the operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and exponentiation (raising to a power) once, and only once, your group is to attempt to make 1. the largest number possible and 2. the smallest number possible. When reporting back to the class, the reporter needs to the provide two numbers, as well as discuss two decisions that the group made while attempting to find the numbers. CRICOS No. 00213J Mallet (QUT Math Sci) Transition mathematics trial 1 16 / 32
  17. 17. Collaborative learning ideas Collaborative learning ideas Communication Workshop 3 MAB105 Preparation and instructions Activity: communication of factorising/solving Before commencing the activity, make sure you are in groups of no more than 6 people. You may use pen and paper, whiteboards, glass boards, COWs, calculators and your heads. 1. If your table has a group name from the first workshop, reuse it. Otherwise, make up a new group name and write your names along with the group name on the piece of paper you are given. 2. Using the COW, navigate a web browser to goanimate.com, and have one of the group either login using an existing account or sign up for a new one. 3. The group can either work together on the problems (for example, split the problems up with everybody attempting only one), or you might wish to attempt them all yourself. The task Attempt each of the following problems either on a whiteboard, on paper or in your notebooks. 1. Factorise the expression 16a5 2. Solve the equation 3( x 36a3 1) = 2x + 4 for x 3. Factorise the expression 2t2 + 20t + 18 4. Factorise the expression 4x2 Purpose: Communication, exploring unknown difficulties, fun 4x + 1 Now, use Go!Animate. Use the “Quick Video Maker” and select a template, setting and characters. In your group, choose one of your attempts at the above problems and use the two characters in your Go!Animate video to explain what you did to arrive at your answer. If you weren’t able to reach the answer, then use your characters to discuss the difficulties you had. You have a total of 10 lines of dialog (parts of a conversation) each of which can be only 180 characters long so you need to be concise but descriptive to get the point across. You might want to pretend your characters are a teacher and a student, or a really smart friend explaining the answer to another friend. Or whatever you like. You might choose the problem you are most confident about because you can explain it better, or perhaps you choose the one you are least confident about because thinking about it in this different way might help you understand it better and identify your difficulties. Possibilities: showcase, reuse in future The point! This workshop could have just involved solving equations and factorising expressions. But by explaining and describing your maths in words, you slow down and think about exactly what you are doing. You will also see how your written attempts at problems can appear to somebody – other people don’t necessarily know what’s going on in your head, so it’s important to write your maths clearly and explain it fully. This is especially important for exams because, in order to give you marks, the marker needs to know what you mean when you write a response. CRICOS No. 00213J Mallet (QUT Math Sci) 1 Unexpected: typing maths: difficult Transition mathematics trial 17 / 32
  18. 18. Collaborative learning ideas Collaborative learning ideas Communication Students attempt questions, then attempt to explain solns via GoAnimate! i.e. translate their maths into words Dann Team temporary Kier Epic ninja battle They see how poorly/well they communicate their mathematics by attempting to translate it Mallet (QUT Math Sci) Transition mathematics trial 18 / 32
  19. 19. Collaborative learning ideas Collaborative learning ideas Technology Activity: Modelling with MoCOWs, BoM website Workshop 7 MAB105 Preparation and instructions Purpose: Real data, visualise, interpret, model/apply Use the MUCOW computer to obtain river height data, import it into a spreadsheet, then plot the data. Next, attempt to develop a mathematical model, in the form of a trig function, to describe the data. • Go to the Bureau of Meteorology website, and the page where rain and river data is available: www.bom.gov.au/qld/flood/rain_river.shtml • Choose a river data set (e.g. Bremer R at Ipswich # ). • Click on the link to the plot to check whether or not sufficient change occurs in the river height over time to generate a visible sine curve. Then go back to the previous page. • Click on the link to the data. This should bring up a rather long table of data values. • Select the data and copy it. Then paste it into Microsoft Excel. Note that you may need to paste into a text file first and then into excel Possibilities: Lots • Produce a scatter plot of the data. The task 1. How high does the river go at its maximum (on average)? How low? 2. How long (time) does it take for the river to pass from its zero height up to the maximum height, down through zero to the minimum depth and finally back to zero (on average)? 3. Use your answers to the above questions to generate a function of the form h(t) = a sin(bt) to model the height of the river. Here h(t) is the height of the river and t represents time. 4. Generate a new column in your excel spreadsheet that gives values of your model h(t) for the times already available in your spreadsheet. 5. Plot these on the same scatterplot as the river data. 6. Does your model look similar to the data? What differences do you notice? How might you overcome these differences to create a better model? CRICOS No. 00213J Mallet (QUT Math Sci) Transition mathematics trial 1 19 / 32
  20. 20. Recording lecture videos Outline 1 Introduction and context 2 Collaborative learning ideas 3 Recording lecture videos 4 SCORM packages 5 Results – engagement Mallet (QUT Math Sci) Transition mathematics trial 20 / 32
  21. 21. Recording lecture videos Recording lecture videos Specs Slides were created using an Apple MacBook Air (11in) and Apple iMac (27in) running Mac OS X 10.7-8 MacTex 2012, Beamer Occasionally Wolfram|Alpha Lecture videos were recorded using a Samsung XE700T1A Slate PC running Microsoft Windows 7 and PDF Annotator 3 and Camtasia Studio 8 Hardware and software provided by the Mathematical Sciences School Mallet (QUT Math Sci) Transition mathematics trial 21 / 32
  22. 22. Recording lecture videos Recording lecture videos Recording process Recording process A 1. Produce slides using LTEX (beamer) 2. Open slides using PDF Annotator, adjust size, prepare tools 3. Open Camtasia Studio, prepare recording window 4. Record! 5. Annotate the slides using stylus and speak (teach!) as usual Figure : Demo video Mallet (QUT Math Sci) Transition mathematics trial 22 / 32
  23. 23. Recording lecture videos Recording lecture videos Editing process Editing process 1. After recording, open recording package in Camtasia Studio 2. Edit sound, cut video/sound, add video, subtitles, annotations, pointers, graphics, etc 3. Quizzes can be added to the video 4. Save project and produce final product (video file or SCORM package) Mallet (QUT Math Sci) Transition mathematics trial 23 / 32
  24. 24. SCORM packages Outline 1 Introduction and context 2 Collaborative learning ideas 3 Recording lecture videos 4 SCORM packages 5 Results – engagement Mallet (QUT Math Sci) Transition mathematics trial 24 / 32
  25. 25. SCORM packages SCORM packages What is SCORM? SCORM = Sharable Content Object Reference Model A set of standards and specifications for web-based e-learning Allows “sequencing”: constraining the learner’s path through the materials Gatekeeping: completion of materials/score threshold Blackboard has SCORM compatibility!!! Mallet (QUT Math Sci) Transition mathematics trial 25 / 32
  26. 26. SCORM packages SCORM packages SCORM and MAB105 Take the video lectures recorded with Camtasia Studio Embed quizzes at important points Export as SCORM package Import into Blackboard. For MAB105: No restriction on number of attempts Scoring of quizzes reported to Grade Centre No completion/score restrictions Mallet (QUT Math Sci) Transition mathematics trial 26 / 32
  27. 27. SCORM packages SCORM packages Importing into Blackboard Importing into Blackboard After producing the SCORM package in Camtasia Studio: 1. Go to relevant Blackboard page (e.g. Learning Resources) 2. Click “Build Content” 3. Choose/click “Content Package (SCORM)” 4. Browse for file to upload 5. Choose the zip file of the SCORM package 6. Choose options naming, detailed notes/info, track views (YES!) number of attempts, scoring, completion etc Mallet (QUT Math Sci) Transition mathematics trial 27 / 32
  28. 28. Results – engagement Outline 1 Introduction and context 2 Collaborative learning ideas 3 Recording lecture videos 4 SCORM packages 5 Results – engagement Mallet (QUT Math Sci) Transition mathematics trial 28 / 32
  29. 29. Results – engagement Results – engagement Blackboard site access Bb site total access counts by day Bb site total access counts by week 800 Assessment due 600 Number of accesses Number of accesses 2,000 400 200 0 Jul 15 Aug 1 Sep 1 Day Oct 1 1,500 1,000 500 0 O 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 V 11 12 13 S Week # Usage is heavy in first 9 weeks (actually: looks like chlamydial infection curve) Mallet (QUT Math Sci) Transition mathematics trial 29 / 32
  30. 30. Results – engagement Results – engagement Blackboard site access by day of week Access peaks between upload and f2f time Blackboard site access by day Workshops Upload Hours 200 100 0 Mallet (QUT Math Sci) S M T W T Day Transition mathematics trial F S 30 / 32
  31. 31. Results – engagement Results – engagement Student Blackboard site access intensity # of Students 1/2 class probably only accessing site to do assessment Student Blackboard site access intensity 30 20 10 0 0-5 5-10 10-15 15-20 20-25 25-30 30-35 35-40 40-45 45-50 50-55 55-60 60-65 65-70 Hours access over the semester Mallet (QUT Math Sci) Transition mathematics trial 31 / 32
  32. 32. Results – engagement Results – engagement Still to come Usage of individual videos (# accesses, time spent) A look at student results more... Mallet (QUT Math Sci) Transition mathematics trial 32 / 32

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