Supporting Assessment in Undergraduate Mathematics
The SAUM project ended in 2007. To continue gathering and providing information on assessment to MAA members, the MAA formed a new Committee on Assessment in early 2008.
The Committee on Assessment is charged with gathering information on appropriate assessment methods in university mathematics of all types, including programmatic assessment (major, service courses, general education/quantitative literacy, developmental, overall program, etc.), formative and summative in-class assessment, and assessment of teaching effectiveness; and disseminating this information to the mathematical community as well as encouraging departments to become aware of, and engage in, effective assessment.
The MAA's Committee on Assessment continues the work of the SAUM project (Supporting Assessment in Undergraduate Mathematics), an NSF- and MAA-sponsored project to help departments of mathematical sciences develop effective assessment plans for the range of programs they are responsible for (the major, clusters of courses for mathematics-intensive majors, courses for pre-service K-12 teachers, quantitative literacy programs).
Panel at MathFest 2011 in Lexington, KY
“Assessing Mathematics Courses for Students in Business, Education, Engineering, and Nursing”, organized by Bonnie Gold, Monmouth University, and William Martin, North Dakota State University, is scheduled for Thursday, August 4, 1:00 – 2:20 p.m.
Most professional degree programs have accrediting agencies with specific accreditation processes that require some assessment of the mathematics students study as part of their training for the field. As university assessment grows more sophisticated, the expectations in terms of information we must provide keeps increasing. Panelists with experience in the accreditation process in these disciplines will discuss the assessment information these accrediting agencies are currently requiring from mathematics departments as part of their process.
- Diane Orr Chlebowy, University of Louisville School of Nursing (discussing nursing)
- William Fenton, Bellarmine University (discussing business)
- Bonnie Gold, Monmouth University (discussing engineering)
- William O. Martin, North Dakota State University (discussing education)
- Jack Bookman, Mathematics Department, Duke University
- Mary Callahan, Registrar, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Amy Cohen, Mathematics Department, Rutgers University
- Bill Martin, Mathematics Department, North Dakota State University
Panel at JMM 2012 in Boston, MA
“Using Data from the Registrar's Office to Better Understand, Plan and Change Your Undergraduate Mathematics Program, organized by Jack Bookman, Duke University, is scheduled for 9:00-10:20 a.m. on Friday, January 6 2012.
Gathering useful data for assessment purposes can often be a daunting and time consuming task but the answers to many questions we may have about our undergraduate mathematics programs, such what is the first math course that our majors take or what is the persistence rate from Calculus I to Calculus II, are readily available from data that can be provided by the registrar's office at each of our institutions. In this panel discussion, we will hear from a Registrar who will discuss what kinds of information the Registrar's office can provide and how to clearly present your questions. We will also hear from mathematics faculty who have used registrar data to assess their program and to make better informed decisions about their department's course offerings.
Contributed Paper Session at JMM 2012 in Boston, MA
“Early Assessment: Find Out What Your Students Understand (and Don't Understand) Before They Take the Test” organized by Miriam Harris-Botzum, Lehigh Carbon Community College, and Bonnie Gold, Monmouth University
Assessment has two aspects, formative and summative. Both can be used to improve student learning. But where summative assessment looks at long-term comprehension and retention of material, and is generally used to assign grades, formative assessment is more short-term – what did the students get out of this lecture, or this concept, and what don’t they quite get yet? And formative assessment need not be counted towards a student's grade; the goal of formative assessment is to inform your teaching and your students' studying. Angelo and Cross’s Classroom Assessment Techniques is full of good ideas for finding out where students’ understanding is, and there are quite a few chapters in the MAA Notes volume 49, Assessment Practices in Undergraduate Mathematics devoted to formative assessment methods. This session, sponsored by the MAA’s Committee on Assessment, invites talks sharing methods you have used in your classes to find out what your students have learned so far and, with that information, help them learn the rest better.
Other Committee Activities
The committee is also beginning discussions on developing a new volume on assessment. Meanwhile, see the two current MAA volumes on assessment, Assessment Practices in Undergraduate Mathematics and Supporting Assessment in Undergraduate Mathematics.
This volume from the Association for Institutional Research, edited by Bernard Madison, includes 10 case studies representing a sample of assessment activity in U.S. mathematics departments.
An MAA Project
Sponsored by the Committee on the Undergraduate Program in Mathematics (CUPM)
Supported by a grant from the NSF Program on Assessment of Student Achievement