MathEd Forum

April 23, 2014

Theme: The role of technology in assessment and evaluation of mathematics learning

February 25, 2012 at 10AM - 2PM
Fields Institute, 222 College Street, Toronto


10:00 a.m. - 10:10 a.m. Reports: OAME, OMCA, OCMA, CMESG, CMS, OMO, and other.

10:10 a.m. - 10:40 a.m.

Donna Kotsopoulos, Eileen Wood, & Sandy Hughes (WLU)
Policy and practice: A digital divide?

The National Post recently reported that "Ontario Catholic teachers' union recommends pulling the plug on Wi-Fi in schools." The Premier of Ontario has been quoted as saying, "Telephones and BlackBerrys and the like are conduits for information today, and one of the things we want our students to do is to be well-informed" (The Globe and Mail, 2010). Currently, many school boards are looking towards making policy statements that either encourage or discourage technology use. Such policy will have important ramifications for technology use in classrooms for learning mathematics and for assessment. The purpose of this talk is to consider how policy may, in fact, create a digital divide with practice.

BIO: Dr. Donna Kotsopoulos is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education, Dr. Eileen Wood is a Professor in the Faculty of Science, Department of Psychology, and Ms. Sandy Hughes is the Director of Teaching Support Services, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo.

10 :45 a.m - 12:00 p.m. PANEL DISCUSSION

Panelists include:

Dennis Hitchmough (Great Grey Consulting)
What then are the key issues in using computers and/or tablets for "evaluative" purposes?

Given that the fundamental issues - minimal access, faulty infrastructure, level of teacher technology savvy - that deter the use of technology in the classroom could be resolved, what then are the key issues in using computers and/or tablets for "evaluative" purposes? Does the breadth of information on the Internet, including sites like Wolfram, where any problem that is input will be solved and spewed back to the user in complete detail preclude students from having to do their own creative thinking? What about plagiarism? Perhaps the fundamental question is, "What do we want students to be able to do, know, and understand and what should be deferred to the Web?"

BIO: Dennis Hitchmough has over 34 years of teaching experience; from elementary to secondary, as a teacher and board level Coordinator, in public education and University Additional Qualification Courses. Although his background is in Life Sciences, he spent most of his career helping students, teachers and adults focus on the benefits of computer technology. He retired as the Coordinator of eLearning for the Toronto District School Board and now, through his company Great Grey Consulting, works with the Information and Communications Technology Council to help students understand why a career in ICT could be a door to a powerful new experience.

Carol Carruthers (Seneca)
Assessment in an Online Workspace: Some insights

Students in foundational mathematics courses at Seneca College use pen-input tablet pc's and software to interact in a synchronous collaborative workspace in the classroom. Once in a student-centered session, students work in online groups, share the teaching role, analyze information from polls and submit work for immediate feedback. Teaching methodology has evolved in this online environment and has morphed into mixed-mode pedagogy to capitalize on the largely untapped out-of classroom time available to first year college students. Using the learning management system and infinite internet resources available, a hybrid mode provides asynchronous online activities to enhance student knowledge. Students are required to take greater responsibility as co-partners in their learning.
Assessment strategy must reflect this embryonic teaching methodology. Some directions we are investigating include:
1) Students designing their own assessments -the use of free online worksheet generators
2) Students writing their own test questions (discussion board) - by students for students
3) Immediate feedback - collaborative software capabilities/internet
4) Virtual office hours
5) Online textbook assignments - not just for less work
6) Some experienced pitfalls
BIO: Carol Carruthers is a professor and coordinator for the School of Biological Sciences and Applied Chemistry at Seneca College. As the recipient of a 2008 Higher Education HP Technology for Teaching Grant, she is the principal investigator researching the impact of tablet PC technology on student engagement and retention. Her aim is to inform others of the infinite resource that the internet provides to enhance the learning experience. She is the coordinator for a common foundational math course taught in five schools across three campuses within the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering Technology. Carol uses her extensive teaching experience gained from twenty years of tutoring high school math and science to provide bridging alternatives for students entering college programs. Her passion for innovative math teaching and her willingness to collaborate within her faculty, college and between colleges, promotes her goal.
Victor Ralevich (PhD, CISSP, Sheridan Institute)
Use of Open-source Mathematics Software in degree level courses at Sheridan College.

The author provides a brief overview of mathematics software, with the emphasis on use of free and open-source software platform SAGE in some of the advanced courses taught at the Sheridan College, Ontario.

BIO: Victor Ralevich is a creator and program coordinator of the Bachelor degree program in Applied Information Sciences (Information Systems Security) at Sheridan College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, the first such undergraduate program in Canada. He has taught mathematics-related courses at the university and college level in Europe, US and Canada for most of his career. His primary interest in teaching and research lays for past nineteen years in information systems security fields, such as applied cryptology, computational complexity, algorithms theory, as well as issues of privacy protection in cyberspace, legal issues related to cyber conflicts, and PKI systems development and implementation.

Paul Alves (Peel DSB)
With the advent of handheld technology that is accessible to most students, what will we teach and what questions will we ask in the math classroom of the future?

Paul Alves is an advocate of the appropriate use of technology in the classroom especially computer algebra systems. He is interested in exploring the interaction between the conceptual understanding of math and the use of technology to support that understanding. Of particular interest is what will the math classroom look like in the near future with the advent of handheld technology that is accessible to most students: what will we teach and what questions will we ask?

BIO: Paul Alves is the department head of math at Fletcher's Meadow Secondary School in the Peel District School Board. He has been involved in various provincial initiatives, is currently a vice-president with OAME and a national instructor with Texas Instruments.
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. LUNCH BREAK
(Light refreshments provided)


1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
General discussion on the role of technology in assessment and evaluation of mathematics learning

2:00 p.m.