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Minicourses

1. Beyond Traditional Grading Schemes

Part A: Thursday, August 1, 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m., Duke Energy Convention Center, Rooms 202 & 203
Part B: Saturday, August 3, 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., Duke Energy Convention Center, Rooms 202 & 203

Description

Mastery grading is an approach to student assessment in which students are provided clear learning objectives, and grades are directly based on students’ ability to demonstrate full mastery of these objectives. Mastery grading attempts to remedy some of the shortcomings of points-based grading structures, which may include a student focus on attaining points rather than deep understanding and penalizing students for failing to acquire knowledge on a fixed schedule. Recent trends indicate that a mastery grading structure encourages a growth mindset, reduces test anxiety, and improves student gains in classrooms. During this minicourse, participants will learn the basics of mastery grading and variations for implementation, including standards-based grading and mastery-based testing. Participants will also work with facilitators to outline a plan to convert a course to a mastery grading approach. Workshop facilitators will help participants choose an assessment method and create a plan to implement it in their course. Participants should have a target course in mind and come prepared for hands-on work in planning a new course assessment structure. This minicourse is designed for new practitioners of mastery grading and those who have not attempted mastery grading previously.

Organizer:
Jessica O’Shaughnessy, Shenandoah University

Sponsor:
MAA Committee on Assessment

 

2. Creating a Purposeful Student Learning Experience

Part A: Thursday, August 1, 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m., Duke Energy Convention Center, Room 204
Part B: Saturday, August 3, 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., Duke Energy Convention Center, Room 204

Description

Do your requirements for your departmental majors constitute an integrated framework designed to build skills necessary for students to succeed in the workplace or in graduate school, or are they just a set of individual classes covering a standard array of content? Do your faculty work together effectively to develop and implement plans to achieve those desired outcomes and to assess your progress? Do you strategically incorporate experiences outside the classroom in student learning? This minicourse, taught in a hands-on workshop format, will assist and guide you in identifying practical steps toward achieving those goals and creating a learning-focused departmental culture. Departmental teams of 2–4 are encouraged to enroll, but are not required.

Organizer:
Dan Callon, Franklin College

 

3. Game Theoretic Modeling for Math Majors

Part A: Thursday, August 1, 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m., Duke Energy Convention Center, Rooms 202 & 203
Part B: Friday, August 2, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., Duke Energy Convention Center, Rooms 202 & 203

Description

Mathematical modeling bridges the mental distance between the real world in which we operate and the abstract world that provides guiding structures. Game theory has a collection of mathematical tools useful in modeling scenarios having multiple interacting decision makers: people, businesses, governments, animals, and genes. This mini-course introduces some game theoretic tools (utility functions, strategic games of complete and incomplete information, and coalition games) and their application to economic, political, and biological scenarios of interest. Along the way, participants will engage in games (perhaps winning some money or other prizes!) and discover some ways to incorporate activities and content into their own courses in game theory, modeling, or calculus courses.

Organizer:
Rick Gillman, Valparaiso University

 

4. Introduction to WeBWorK: An Open Source Alternative to Generate and Deliver Online Homework Problems

Part A: Thursday, August 1, 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m., Duke Energy Convention Center, Room 204
Part B: Friday, August 2, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., Duke Energy Convention Center, Room 204

Description

This minicourse provides an introduction to equip participants to successfully utilize the open-source online homework system WeBWorK. Developed by mathematicians for mathematicians and adopted by over 1200 institutions, WeBWorK is a popular open-source alternative to commercial products. WeBWorK comes with an extensive and curated library of over 35,000 exercises encompassing the collegiate curriculum including College Algebra, Calculus, ODE’s, Linear Algebra, Prob and Stats, and Introduction to Proofs. WeBWorK recognizes a multitude of mathematical objects and allows for elegant solution checking. This minicourse will provide participants with the knowledge and skills needed to utilize WeBWorK in their classrooms and to edit WeBWorK exercises.

Organizers:
Tim Flowers, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Robin Cruz, College of Idaho
Stacey Rodman, Augustana College

Sponsor:
MAA Committee on Technology in Mathematics Education (CTME)

 

5. Visualizing Projective Geometry Through Photographs and Perspective Drawings

Part A: Thursday, August 1, 3:40 p.m. – 5:40 p.m., Duke Energy Convention Center, Room 204
Part B: Friday, August 2, 3:40 p.m. – 5:40 p.m., Duke Energy Convention Center, Room 204

Description

This Minicourse will introduce hands-on, practical art puzzles that motivate the mathematics of projective geometry—the study of properties invariant under projective transformations, often taught as an upper-level course. This Minicourse seeks to strengthen the link between projective geometry and art. On the art side, we explore activities in perspective drawing or photography. These activities provide a foundation for the mathematical side, where we introduce activities in problem solving and proof suitable for a sophomore-level proofs class. In particular, we use a geometrical analysis of Renaissance art and of photographs taken by students to motivate several important concepts in projective geometry, including Desargues’ Theorem and the use of numerical projective invariants. No artistic experience is required.

Organizer:
Annalisa Crannell, Franklin & Marshall College,

Sponsor:
SIGMAA-ARTS

 

6. Mathematical Card Magic

Part A: Thursday, August 1, 3:40 p.m. – 5:40 p.m., Duke Energy Convention Center, Rooms 202 & 203
Part B: Friday, August 2, 3:40 p.m. – 5:40 p.m., Duke Energy Convention Center, Rooms 202 & 203

Description

This minicourse will present a modern survey of self-working mathematical card magic, from classics such as binary and Gilbreath principle based entertainments to original principles and effects discovered by the presenter and previously shared online (over the period 2004-2014) in his bi-monthly Card Colm blog at MAA.org. A special feature will be two-person card magic based on subtle mathematical communication principles. Discrete mathematics, combinatorics and elementary probability will be used. The material can be used to liven up mathematics classes and motivate student learning. There are no prerequisites, and no sleight of hand skills are required.

Organizer:
Colm Mulcahy, Spelman College

 

Year: 
2019

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