I contributed to the Mathematical Sciences Strand presentation to the Heads of Departments of Mathematical Sciences (HoDoMS) conference in April, giving a short presentation of work taking place in HE Curriculum Innovation under the Strand and explaining the process for allocating the HE Curriculum Innovation Fund. Some highlights in summary:
- 33 projects have been supported involving 36 departments;
- 70% supported projects (by funding) result from the HE Mathematics Curriculum Summit;
- 94% funding allocated by open call (6% for commissioned work);
- 63% supported projects (by funding) for collaborative projects;
- 30+ workshops have taken place or are planned; so far these have attracted attendees from 46 departments;
- The breakdown of funding by topic is (approx.):
As a result of the Summit recommendations relating to assessment we are supporting a major piece of work to survey assessment practices across university mathematics and develop resources to share good practice. This also aims to focus on the costs and effects of the change required to implement good practice in new contexts so that lecturers can both see what others are doing and understand the practical issues involved if they wish to adapt those methods to their own practice. As part of this change element, the project seeks to support lecturers with funding of up to £1,500 to evaluate and implement a new form of assessment, or evaluate an existing one, whether that is a different style of examination question, the introduction of coursework into a new module, supporting the development of new projects.
This project will be presented and call for mini-projects launched at a workshop. The workshop will also present preliminary findings from a literature review of assessment practices in university mathematics and results from a study on students’ and lecturers’ perceptions of assessment in mathematics, discuss current assessment practices and invite participants to discuss the way in which they assess their students in mathematics.
This workshop will take place at Loughborough University on 17th November 2011. For full details about the workshop please visit the MU-MAP event page on the MSOR website.
For further details of the project please visit the MU-MAP project website.
To register to attend the workshop or to learn more about the mini-projects please contact Paola Iannone.
The Maths Arcade at the University of Greenwich was set up to provide maths students with a wide range of strategy games and puzzles that they can investigate in order to help them develop different approaches to thinking in a logical and mathematical way.
The aim is to stretch the more confident students and support those who are struggling. It appears to have been successful at Greenwich in helping promote student engagement and improving retention and attainment.
Through the National HE STEM Programme we are now offering limited funding and support for other universities to replicate this good practice by setting up their own Maths Arcade.
If you are interested please contact Peter Rowlett (firstname.lastname@example.org) for further information and an application form which must be returned by 21 October 2011.
You can listen to me say this as episode 8 of the podcast.
There is an article on the website of Times Higher Education (THE) ‘Maths teaching seeks the formula for good graduates‘, which is about the report of the HE Mathematics Curriculum Summit, now in its print-ready form (and indeed copies are printed and ready to distribute).
I am pleased to see this work being reported by THE although the focus is perhaps slightly more to the negative than I would have put it. Much from the Summit report does not fit in the article, of course, and some of the content of the comment pieces ‘Taking Control of the Assessment Agenda’ (p. 21) and ‘What do the students think about their Maths degrees?’ (p. 25) is reported as if it were consensus. Anyway, the general theme is that maths teaching at university has some room to improve, which I think the Summit agreed with, and the article points out the report identifies “both challenges and possible solutions”. We are taking forward these possible solutions through our Third Call for Funding, which closes today. I have spent the last six weeks touring the country holding meetings about this funding and taking phone and email queries so I am looking forward to receiving a good number of high quality applications today. Hopefully we, as a mathematical sciences community, will be able to take advantage of the opportunity offered by the National HE STEM Programme through the Mathematical Sciences HE Curriculum Innovation Fund to take up the Summit recommendations and meet the challenges highlighted in the THE article, and then some!
Here is the section, extracted from my Young Researchers in Mathematics 2011 conference talk, that talks about the HE Mathematics Curriculum Summit and resultant Third Call for Funding that is now open until 13th May 2011.
If you’ve been following the last two posts, you’ll expect the third big announcement of three. Here it is.
The Third Call for Funding from the Mathematical Sciences HE Curriculum Innovation Fund is now open. Following on from the HE Mathematics Curriculum Summit, the recommendations have been taken forward in this call. The call takes the form of a series of work briefs and funding levels and you are invited to submit project proposals against these briefs. A proportion of the funding is also available to open call. Details are available from the funding call documentation.
A series of meetings will be held in the National HE STEM Programme regional areas. You are encouraged to attend this meeting and hear about the Summit findings and ask questions about the Call.
The meeting ‘Findings from the HE Mathematics Curriculum Summit and details of a £150,000 funding call in Mathematical Sciences HE Curriculum Innovation’ will take place at:
I am pleased to be able to announce the second funding call from the Mathematical Sciences HE Curriculum Innovation Fund, operated by the MSOR Network as part of the National HE STEM Programme.
This call is particularly directed to funding work that builds on proven innovative practice in teaching, learning and assessment in STEM subjects and brings that practice to wider use in mathematical sciences. Priority will be given to projects which attempt to transfer established practice from a successful project in physics, chemistry or engineering, or which allow more widespread use of innovative practice based on a successful project in mathematical sciences. Funding is also available to facilitate and support innovation within the mathematical sciences curriculum through projects which support the aims of the National HE STEM Programme Mathematical Sciences Strand.
Funding is expected to be at the level of £5,000 but for a project which seeks to extend significantly the use of a proven curriculum innovation into or within mathematical sciences, or has multiple partners, up to £10,000 is available.
Full call notice and application form.
Please note registration for the following workshops is now open:
Using IT when teaching mathematics classes, 19 November 2010, University of Nottingham.
This workshop will explore ways that technology can enhance the delivery of mathematics. Experience of using tablet PCs and screencasting will be shared and an opportunity to tour Nottingham’s Multi-Display Learning Space will be offered.
Further details and registration.
Embedding Graduate Skills in Your Mathematical Sciences Programme, 24 November 2010, Sheffield Hallam University.
This workshop will explore approaches UK mathematical sciences departments have taken to developing mathematics programmes to encourage the development of graduate skills and encourage discussion of the place of skills development in the curriculum and what makes a successful approach work.
Further details and registration.