A) Brigitte Forster-Heinlein, Hella Epperlein, Elena Mille: The Passau Math Museum: Hands-On Mathematics by Students for Schoolkids. 2022 IEEE German Education Conference (GeCon). 2022
Hands-On Mathematics by students for schoolkids is our innovative teaching concept. It consists of students developing tangible mathematical exhibits for schoolkids in seminars or in their final theses. In addition to the usual requirements for a written seminar paper or thesis in mathematics, the students design instructive exhibits that convey mathematical facts in an exciting way.With the Passau Math Museum, we offer our students a platform where they present their work permanently and visibly. The prospect to showcase their exhibit in our museum motivates students to intensively dig into the mathematical theory and its didactic presentation.Our teaching concept has the following effects. The students work meticulously on the mathematical subject to be well prepared for questions from the faculty as well as from the schoolkids, visitors and the press. When presenting their works, the students train soft skills such as free public speech, motivating, guiding, and responding to visitors and more. When designing their exhibits, particularly the student teachers implement autonomously the methods learned in their didactics classes. They practice connecting subject-specific and subject-didactic aspects.
B) Sima Caspari-Sadeghi, Elena Mille, Hella Epperlein, Brigitte Forster-Heinlein: Stimulating Reflection through Self-Assessment: Certainty-based Marking (CBM) in Online Mathematics Learning. Mathematics Teaching Research Journal. 2022.
This collaborative action research highlights the need for developing students’ evaluative competence and self-reflection by embedding self-and-peer assessment into online instruction. Over the course of a semester in an online master program in mathematics and computer sciences, students conducted research on assigned topics, held presentations, formulated meaningful questions for peer-assessment, and finally engaged in Certainty-based Marking (CBM) by rating how certain they are that their answer is correct. The goal of using CBM was to foster students’ careful reflection and provide feedback to teachers about students’ status of knowledge. A mixed-method approach was used to triangulate data from two sources: (a) assessment artifacts, i.e., student-generated questions and CBM, as evidence of learning, and (b) students’ attitude captured through ‘Task Perception Questionnaire’. Assessment data were analyzed by three domain experts based on their judgement of ‘quality’ and Kappa measure was used to assess inter-rater consistency. Quantitative analysis of questionnaire data, coupled with instructors’ observation, indicated positive attitudes (engaging and useful) towards CBM among students. We conclude with a discussion of limitations as well as implications of this classroom research project.
C) Sima Caspari, Brigitte Forster-Heinlein, Jutta Mägdefrau, Lena Bachl: Student-generated Questions: Developing Mathematical Competence through Online-Assessment. International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Vol. 15 (1), Article 8, 2021.
Abstract: This action research study presents the findings of using a formative assessment strategy in an online mathematic course during the world-wide outbreak of Covid-19 at the University of Passau, Germany. The main goals of this study were (a) to enhance students’ self-regulated learning by shifting the direction of assessment from instructors to the students, (b) to promote deep active learning in mathematics. Students were required to conduct self-regulated learning on a selected topic. They were encouraged to formulate two multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and pose them after each presentation in an online course. The effectiveness of Student-generated Questions (SGQs) as a learning strategy was measured in terms of (a) students’ engagement, and (b) learning outcomes. While evidence on students’ engagement was gathered through an online questionnaire survey, the learning outcomes were measured by analyzing the quality of SGQs. Results indicated that authoring questions, though leading to a higher students’ engagement with the materials, could be quite challenging for students and did not lead to higher achievement. The authors provide some suggestions for improving the process through regular uses of digital technologies such as PeerWise.
D) Sima Caspari, Brigitte Forster-Heinlein, Jutta Mägdefrau, Lena Bachl: Sustainable E- Assessment in Mathematics Instruction. In D. Kollosche (Ed.): Exploring new ways to connect. Proceedings of the Eleventh International Mathematics Education & Society Conference, Klagenfurt, Austria. Vol. 1, 2021, pp. 145–148.
Abstract: This study aimed at moving beyond content mastery to help students develop sustainable, transferable skills such as self-regulated learning. Each Student conducted a self-inquiry on a selected topic in mathematics. They also formulated some multiple-choice questions, asked their peers to solve them and engaged in active discussions afterward. Collected data were analyzed in terms of Student-generated Questions’ (SGQs) quality by two instructors independently. Findings showed while taking the responsibility of assessment is a promising strategy in developing self-regulated learning, it might not automatically lead to a higher-order learning (i.e., critical thinking). It is suggested that a combination of instructors’ feedback and regular use of digital technologies can enhance students’ questioning competence.