Uses of videos as resources for teaching mathematics


Host Institution:

RMIT University

Title of Seminar:

Uses of videos as resources for teaching mathematics

Speaker's Name:

Dr M.I. Nelson

Speaker's Institution:

University of Wollongong

Time and Date:

Friday 29 May 2009 at 3:30 pm

Seminar Abstract:

Mathematics videos have been produced at the University of Wollongong for a number of years.

In the initial stages there was a concentration on producing videos that provided "worked examples". In such videos an individual works through a problem, explaining their thinking process as the solution develops. The motivation for this work was the declining mathematical ability of first-year engineering students. A comparison of student performance on standard tests over a number of years showed improved student outcomes over virtually all assessment tasks.

More recently two new video genres have been developed. In the first, two or three students discuss a mathematical idea, using examples on a whiteboard (`individual tutorial'). These videos have been developed for a specific course at the University of Wollongong (MATH111 - Applied Mathematical Modelling I) and have been made available to students as part of a concept map for the second half of the course.

In the second (`Maths in Action'), a non-mathematics student or academic staff member talks about the use of mathematics to solve a problem in their discipline (typically a science subject). The latter has many similarities to the "worked examples" genre, except that the mathematics is now embedded into a scientific context and the emphasis is on how a facility with mathematics delivers the science student an understanding of their science problem.

In this presentation I will discuss the stages of development of such videos, from their conception through to their use in engaging students. Issues discussed include the production of resources, the different ways in which videos can be utilised and the appropriate organisation of such resources on an e-learning site so as to both promote learning outcomes and to engage students.

We are now moving away from professionally developed videos to the production of `in-house' videos by students and staff using tablet PCs. Many of the lessons learnt regarding the development of our earlier video resources, and their use by students, are being applied to the production of our new resources. This new work is jointly funded by the University of Wollongong and the ALTC: "Building leadership capacity for the development and sharing of mathematics learning resources across disciplines and universities".

Seminar Convenor:

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