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Alternative forms of continuous assessment in mathematics

Carr, Michael and Ní Fhloinn, Eabhnat orcid logoORCID: 0000-0002-3840-2115 (2007) Alternative forms of continuous assessment in mathematics. In: INTED2007, 1st International Technology, Education and Development Conference, 7-9 Mar 2007, Valencia, Spain. ISBN 978-84-611-4517-1

In Dublin Institute of Technology, there has been a recent move to semesterisation, with an increased emphasis on continuous assessment. In mathematics, this would traditionally mean that students would sit a number of short, written assessments during the course of each semester, in conjunction with an end-of-module exam. However, it was decided to combine these usual assessments with presentations on mathematics for certain cohorts this semester. As part of their continuous assessment mark, students were required to work in groups of three, to prepare and deliver a short presentation to their classmates. Two techniques were employed: in one instance, third-year Engineering students gave presentations revising one of a selection of fundamental mathematical topics studied in previous years; in the second instance, second-year Product Design students explored possible applications of the mathematics they had studied to their other modules or future careers. The aim of the first technique was to ensure that students were familiar with core mathematical concepts, which would be necessary for the new topics they would meet in the coming year. It also allowed them to experience the challenge of presenting this material in a clear and interesting fashion, giving them a new appreciation for the position of the lecturer. The second technique was employed to encourage students to consider the relevance of mathematical topics to their area of study, providing them with an opportunity to discover the importance of fundamental mathematical concepts in the design process. In both cases, the students developed an important skill for the workplace in which they may often be required to give presentations on technical matters. Every group in the class was required to anonymously award a mark out of ten to each presentation, and these marks were combined to produce the final mark. The lecturer also awarded a mark to each group, and this was compared to the mean mark awarded by the students, to examine the difference between this and the peer-marking system. Arising from this, some possible issues associated with peer marking are discussed. In addition to the presentation itself, students were required to complete a reflective survey on WebCT. The purpose of this was two-fold: to encourage the students to reflect on their own learning experience and how the presentations had contributed to this; and also to provide valuable feedback to staff as to students’ perceptions of this learning methodology. The results of this survey are provided in the paper.
Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Event Type:Conference
Uncontrolled Keywords:Engineering maths; Alternative continuous assessment; Presentations; Applications of maths; Peer assessment; Review of basic maths
Subjects:Social Sciences > Education
DCU Faculties and Centres:UNSPECIFIED
Published in: INTED2007 Proceedings (CD). . INTED2007. ISBN 978-84-611-4517-1
Official URL:https://iated.org/archive/inted2007
Copyright Information:© 2007 INTED
Use License:This item is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. View License
ID Code:21676
Deposited On:26 Jan 2017 12:46 by Thomas Murtagh . Last Modified 30 Jul 2018 10:12

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