Capturing learning in undergraduate mathematics

Funding year: 
3 years
University of Auckland - Te Whare Wānanga o Tāmaki Makaurau
Post school sector
Project start date: 
January 2013
Project end date: 
October 2016
Principal investigator(s): 
Bill Barton
Research team members: 
Rachel Fewster, Vivien Kirk, Dimitri Leemans, Julia Novak, Greg Oates, Claire Postlethwaite, Jamie Sneddon, Mirko Wojnowski

This project sought to link the development of three innovative methods of undergraduate mathematics course delivery, and the identification and observation of a wide range of desired learning outcomes.

The three innovative course delivery methods developed were: Team-Based Learning Mode, Intensive Technology Mode, and Low Lecture Mode. These innovative methods of delivering undergraduate mathematics were all implemented (two more completely than the third). A full list of Learning Outcomes was collected and categorised. The observation instruments for these learning outcomes were developed completely for two categories of outcome, past trial stage for three further categories, and initial progress made on a further three. This work is continuing beyond the project in five research studies. The Course Learning Profile, by which the impact of course delivery can be seen, was developed to template stage.

The project extension to other Mathematical Science Departments was undertaken with respect to the learning outcomes and prompted interest from national colleagues in the results of the project, but no replica innovations took place. The project extension to other subjects, on the other hand, was so strong that it outgrew this project and is now a separately funded, on-going project. Another unexpected development was the high level of interest in the LUMOS project from international colleagues who have become involved in on-going work, developing observation instruments. Overall, we conclude that there is a need, and an opportunity, to develop a wider variety of delivery styles in order to better develop the wide range of learning outcomes that lecturers and other stake-holders expect of undergraduates in the mathematical sciences.

This work was supported through the TLRI and the Ako Aotearoa National Project Fund 2012.