MATHEMATICS EDUCATION FORUM

October 30, 2014

FIELDS MATHEMATICS EDUCATION FORUM
MINUTES - June 8, 2002

ON-LINE LEARNING : TIME FOR SOME REFLECTION
^
Off-Line

Quick Self-Quiz [True / False]

__1. On-Line Learning will help us to address our teacher shortage.

__2. On-Line Learning can be a money saver.

__3. On-Line Learning can be a money earner.

__4. The greatest challenges in On-Line Learning are technological not pedagogical.

__5. Teachers need training in working in On-Line Learning environments.

__6. On-Line Learning can improve the quality of a student's educational experience.

__7. All learning styles can be accommodated through On-Line learning.

__8. Successful On-Line Learning programs have significant off-line components.

__9. On-Line is to Learning as tail is to dog.


Take-to-the-Office Quiz

VISION OF LEARNER

Learners are immersed in a culture / environment that gives them the opportunity to:
!learn, use and refine inquiry and problem solving skills, and in so doing,
!learn with understanding,
!use their knowledge in an integrated and authentic fashion to make sense, and to
!develop the habits and skills of a life-long sense-maker, learner, and problem solver.

Q. In what ways do the on-line courses you have selected / developed or are considering selecting / developing support such a vision?


Fields Letterhead

To All Those with a Stake or an Interest in On line Learning

On line teaching and learning is quickly becoming a significant part of curriculum delivery in university undergraduate and teacher education programs, in colleges, and in elementary and secondary schools. In particular, there has been a movement toward providing on line learning experiences in Mathematics. In responding to this development educators must identify both the advantages and disadvantages of on line instruction in mathematics. They then must mold on line modules as courses to ensure that the learning experiences of every student are rich and meaningful.

We believe that on line delivery of course material developed to reflect the lessons of research and best practice hold out the promise of improvements in the areas of access, equity, efficiency, flexible learning opportunities, and the overall quality of the educational experience for students.

On the other hand, on line learning carries with it risks and perils including downside, enormous development and delivery costs, the risk of entrenching of 19th century pedagogical practices via
21st century technology, student isolation, and reduced student support.

These hopes and concerns have motivated the Fields Institute to strike a working committee to investigate on line learning. It has initiated a series of actions that started with a two day symposium, which assembled stakeholders from across Canada.

This meeting raised some fundamental questions about on line learning and learning in general. As a possible stakeholder in on line learning you are invited to consider this summary and accompanying white paper. Your thoughts and responses will be very much appreciated by the committee as it continues its work. Please do not hesitate to request additional copies of this documentation for the use of individuals who are working on the development and implementation of on line courses in your organization.


Yours …

Some thoughts to ponder!


On-Line learning: Report Card

Annotated and un-annotated On-Line Learning 'Report Cards' are available at [Web site, here]. They have been designed to be used by anyone wishing to evaluate the quality of the learning experience provided by existing on-line courses and to help guide developers of new on-line courses.

[Artwork of report card could / should be included.]


The Fields Institute

The Fields Institute, named after the Canadian mathematician John Charles Fields, was established in 1992 as a research centre for the mathematical sciences. The Institute, with primary funding from the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities and the federal Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council [NSERC], provides visiting mathematicians with on-going highly focused mathematics research seminars and opportunities to investigate the industrial and business applications of their work. Included in the Institute's mandate is the support of mathematical education at all ages, from the beginning of schooling through to graduate and post-doctoral study. To further this goal, the Institute, since early 1997, has coordinated and sponsored the Fields Mathematics Education Forum. Here in regular meetings, mathematics educators from the elementary and secondary school systems, colleges, and universities and others with an interest in education, meet to exchange ideas and develop proposals for the improvement of teaching and learning in the discipline. The Forum has come to play a significant role in education, particularly in Ontario, organizing symposia and workshops addressing key issues and contributing to the development of the province's new secondary school mathematics curriculum.

[Add comment re the Math Ed Research arm, headed up by Gila.]
[Place above on photo of Fields spiral staircase.]

[add contact info and web address here]




On-Line Learning: (Annotated) Report Card

Any learning package should provide the student with a quality learning experience, that is, provide each student with the opportunity to:

1. make sense: - inquire, investigate, experiment, and problem solve - make sense of their mathematics (conceptual and procedural understanding) - make sense with and through their mathematics (apply their knowledge) - develop the habits and attitudes of a life-long sense maker
2. engage in rich learning tasks: - tasks that give students opportunity to make sense - encourage transfer of control from teacher to student - actively engage, motivate, stimulate the student - allow students to explore, model, formulate, manipulate, transform, conclude, infer, and communicate - encourage the use of knowledge and tools in an authentic, integrated, balanced, creative, imaginative, and purposeful fashion - allow variable entry level into tasks - allow for wide range of performance on task - make effective use of tools and resources - broadens teacher / student vision of subject
3. work within an appropriate structure: - effective structure - tasks constructed with a flexible structure, adaptable to needs of learner / learning styles, accommodating individual differences - inviting - student has measure of control within a structure / provides choice - structure focuses activity, encourages productive activity, encourages reflection, monitoring, communication - enables learning - teacher has flexibility in use - balance of off-line and on-line experiences
4. interact meaningfully with co-learners: - provides access to others - encourages discussion, sharing, collaboration, critiquing and evaluating others ideas, judging rightness - allows for a variety of forms of interaction - provides opportunity for face-to-face interaction - access to variety of communication tools
5. interact meaningfully with teacher: - communication throughout learning episode - human mediation - teacher plays significant / crucial role as motivator / facilitator / modeler / re-assurer / challenger / monitor / assessor / community builder
6. assess: - encourages monitoring of progress, self-assessment, reflecting on learning - student can receive timely feedback throughout learning episode - students given opportunity to revise and improve - student knows what success should look like - authentic assessment - assessment linked to learning
7. have a relevant learning experience: - addresses all major curricular expectations and emphases - addresses student readiness / interests / learning styles - use of multi-media / multi-representations - supports enlightened vision of learner, teacher, and discipline
8. develop a sense of community of learners: - encourages risk taking - legitimates a community of ignorance - respect for all members of learning community and their differences
9. engage in a package developed by a team of experts: - experts in the use of technology, multi-media, and software, subject discipline, design, pedagogy, best practice / research - field-tested by end-users - instructional design takes priority over technological form or pursuit of efficiency
10. use package / resource with ease: - use-friendly - intuitive - transparency of technology and software - ease of navigation through package - format clear and easy to comprehend / use -equitable student access - simplicity - modular - effective links to other resources - help section

On-Line Learning: Report Card

Name of Package ____________________________________ Overall Rating ________
(jjjjexemplary; jjjacceptable; jjsub-standard; junacceptable)
Overall Evaluation (Summary of major strengths and weaknesses of package.)

Detailed Evaluation (star ratings and brief comments)

______ 1. opportunity to make sense


______ 2. opportunity to engage in rich learning tasks


______ 3. structure of learning tasks


______ 4. interaction with co-learners


______ 5. interaction with teacher


______ 6. opportunity to assess


______ 7. relevance of learning experiences


______ 8. sense of community


______ 9. development team


_____ 10. ease of use of resource