How does mathematics education keep up in the digitalising world? What are the teaching methods that are more effective and enthusiastic compared to lecturing?
Answers to these questions are looked for in the FutureMath project, which is coordinated by TAMK, and which technical colleges from Spain, Romania and Slovakia participate in.
For years it has been said that the mathematical skills’ level of engineering students has reduced. However, the same amount of mathematical skills is still required in an engineer’s job. Education cuts and large, heterogeneous student groups bring additional challenges to teaching.
– The project aims towards better utilisation of technologies in engineering mathematics. We research and develop motivating, learner-focused methods and materials. We aim to respond to educational challenges with modern technology opportunities in mind, explains Project Manager, TAMK’s Mathematics Lecturer Kirsi-Maria Rinneheimo (on the left in the photo).
More calculating together
– We have a personal desire to develop. We want to find methods that facilitate teaching and make studying more meaningful, emphasises TAMK’s Mathematics Lecturer Hanna Kinnari-Korpela (on the right in the photo).
Kinnari-Korpela has replaced lecturing with the Flipped Classroom model. Traditionally, lessons focus on theory teaching, and students complete exercises as homework. In the Flipped Classroom model, the students familiarise in the theory in advance. In this way, more time can be spent during lessons, calculating together.
Digitalism speeds up checking
The automatic assessment of mathematical exercises has also proven functional. The STAC system has been utilised in assessing, which enables the teacher to create automatically checked mathematics exercises.
The system creates an exercise for each student with its own parameters. Copying from a friend is not possible, because everyone receives a different exercise. Although the exercises are personalised, checking is carried out easily and automatically with the software.
The project that is part of the EU-funded Erasmus + program lasts until the autumn of 2018.
TEXT: JANICA BRANDER
PHOTOS: JOEL FORSMAN