Feedback from Wollongong

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We particularly looked at the Mathematical Journey blueprint because we are considering proposing a Maths subject in the next round. We wanted to make sure we wouldn't be overlapping. In common with the comments below we think it's a great design. And it does not overlap with our potential offering. MATH131/132 teaches PRIMARY Maths. A Mathematical Journey is going to have a Yr7-10 focus (at least). There's a big difference. Dr Caz Sandison from our Maths Department says:

"This is problem-based learning that should have an appeal to an educated general audience. It will teach people what they need to know for their particular problem. Given that our own education system does problem solving extremely poorly, this would even fill a gap in the Australian system. [Eg. I have found engineering students can pass MATH subjects, but when they have to "use" it in their engineering, they draw a blank 'coz they have been trained to think that Maths is separate to everything else, and they can't see the connection, relevance or use of Maths in their jobs.]"

"A Mathematical Journey seems to me to be a project-based subject, with every student working on their own project. In terms of supervision, this is pretty huge... and would be, even if you only had 20 students! It is student driven (which is a positive thing) but I'm not sure it is quite "do-able" from an admin point of view."

"I have also seen recently that their is a HUGE gap in the background knowledge of the general public. Having no pre-requisite may not be a great thing... even if they just say the people should be competent in basic, primary Maths skills or something."

"Since teaching my MATH131/132 subjects, my eyes have been opened to a whole new cohort of people who simply do not think mathematically. Many are mathsphobic and they have trouble seeing any logic in the Maths. A Mathematical Journey maynot be accessible to these guys. The mathsphobic need hand-holding and a teacher-directed syllabus. They don't have the insight to see where they would need to use Mathematics, partly because they want to avoid it at all costs."

Anyway, I am sure you have considered these things and we are offering to help with getting your course design implemented. The Maths lecturers at UOW have been engaged in creating OERs for some time. They asked me to point you to them: They are video snippets called "Summertime Maths": These ones do not yet have Creative Commons licensing on them but we are wokring on it, especially if you tell us you might be using them :) Meanwhile there are about 100 other Maths OERs from Wollongong that DO have CC licensing - they are stored on Content Beyond Borders (although i just checked and CBB didn't seem to be working - yike! I'll ask why and see if it can be fixed)

SWILLS (talk)19:48, 21 March 2012

As an aside, i probably should say more about MATH131/132 - it's aimed at Primary school Maths teachers to provide them with the Maths background to teach Primary school Maths. It's also therefore suitable for parents of Primary school students. It's much lower level Maths therefore than A Mathematical Journey.

SWILLS (talk)19:53, 21 March 2012

Hi Sandra,

BIG thanks for this extremely valuable feedback. It emphasizes the need for clear articulation of the intended learning outcomes of OERu courses and demonstrates the value of an open design blueprint process.

I think the MATH131/132 courses envisaged as a contribution by Wollongong would be a valuable edition to the suite of OERu courses currently on the table.

So what's interesting is whether there will be any sub-units or components where there might be overlap -- read the ability to reuse OER resources.

This process will also enrich our networks tacit knowledge and experience in how we can map courses and curricula on a global qualifications framework or competency matrix (without presuming any paradigmatic preference ;-))

Exciting times - -we're making the future happen!

Mackiwg (talk)21:17, 21 March 2012

Thanks so much for the feedback and offer of help.  I'll take a look at the resources you've shared- thsnks! I agree that there is quite a bit of "unmathematical thinking" happenng in our world. We've createed some courses at ESC that have been successful with learners of a wide range of mathematical backgrounds and attitudes. I'm hopeful that this background will help make this project successful. Khan Academy will be a greeat resource- have you seen his web site? The videaos are also now available as an iPad app.

BettyHD (talk)01:12, 22 March 2012