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Best Practices for Instruction and Assessment  

Articles from peer reviewed journals within the past 5 years.
Last Updated: Jul 2, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Current Best Practices in Math Education

  • Assessing Developmental Assessment in Community Colleges
    Hughes, K. L., & Scott-Clayton, J. (2011). Assessing Developmental Assessment in Community Colleges. Community College Review, 39(4), 327-351.

    For many students entering community colleges, the first stop on campus is to an assessment center. More than half of these students will be placed into developmental education as a result of their scores on reading, writing, and mathematics entry assessments, yet there is little evidence that this improves student outcomes. We examine alternative perspectives on the role of assessment and how it is best implemented, review the validity of the most common assessments, and discuss emerging directions in assessment policy and practice. We conclude with implications for policy and research.
  • Curriculum-Based Evaluation and Math: An Overview
    Kelley, B., Hosp, J. L., & Howell, K. W. (2008). Curriculum-Based Evaluation and Math: An Overview. Assessment For Effective Intervention, 33(4), 250-256.

    Full text available through inter-library loan only

    Poor math performance is a major concern leading the current educational reform agenda. Many educational math critics are claiming a math crisis. Researchers and school personnel are trying to resolve this crisis. Some are looking at curriculum-based evaluation (CBE) as a process for solving this problem. CBE and curriculum-based measurement (CBM) are widely accepted validated tools for effectively yielding information necessary to make sound educational decisions. In this article, best practices in CBE and CBM are described as they pertain to math instruction. Specific steps of the CBE process are described as they pertain to math.
  • Today's Technologies Enhance Writing in Mathematics
    Cooper, A. (2012). Today's Technologies Enhance Writing in Mathematics. Clearing House: A Journal Of Educational Strategies, Issues And Ideas, 85(2), 80-85.

    Full text available through inter-library loan only

    It is widely accepted that including writing activities in the learning process positively impacts student achievement and leads to greater depth of student understanding. This writing is often missing in the math classroom though, when the focus is misplaced on rote procedures. In these classrooms students learn mathematical processes but have little depth of understanding into the mathematical foundations, nor have an ability to clearly express their mathematical reasoning. This article promotes the use of Internet-based chat, forums, and blogs as the environment in which necessary mathematical writing can occur. Zemelman, Daniels, and Hyde provide a best practice framework through which the benefits of chat, forum, and blog writing are obvious. Student engage
  • Putting Cognitive Science behind a Statistics Teacher's Intuition
    Jones, K. A., Jones, J. L., & Vermette, P. J. (2011). Putting Cognitive Science behind a Statistics Teacher's Intuition. Teaching Statistics: An International Journal For Teachers, 33(3), 85-90.

    Full text available through inter-library loan only

    Recent advances in cognitive science have led to an enriched understanding of how people learn. Using a framework presented by Willingham, this article examines instructional best practice from the perspective of conceptual understanding and its implications on statistics education.
  • Improving Learning through Meta Assessment
    McDonald, B. (2010). Improving Learning through Meta Assessment. Active Learning In Higher Education, 11(2), 119-129.

    Full text available through inter-library loan only

    Meta assessment goes beyond assessment in that it examines not only the elements of assessment but also the necessary and sufficient conditions as well as the needs of the assessment. Meta assessment in education tends to be the domain of course designers, planners and policy makers but rarely that of students. This article examines the role of meta assessment in improving student learning. The sample comprised 50 mathematics students from a tertiary educational institution. Achievement scores from the experimental group (those who did standardized meta-assessment training) on a difficult and an easy teacher-made assignment showed that those students performed better than their untrained counterparts from the control group. Findings from semi-structured interviews demonstrated both the breadth an
  • Being an Expert Mathematics Online Tutor: What Does Expertise Entail?
    Martinovic, D. (2009). Being an Expert Mathematics Online Tutor: What Does Expertise Entail?. Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership In Learning, 17(2), 165-185.

    This article is derived from the qualitative portion of a larger study conducted on mathematics websites that provide expert volunteer help. Data consist of tutoring logs of five expert tutors from two help sites, plus interviews with these tutors. The researcher has employed theories about expertise in the educational domain to elicit details of individual coping strategies with challenges posed by the online environment, including students' non-responsiveness and issues of academic honesty. One of the participants, a recent online tutor who was also a teacher, experienced conflict of professional interests between these two roles. Tutors, who were also students, felt a conflict of liability--towards the tutees on one hand and towards the website administration on the other. Except for one tutor who demonstrated a highly
  • Computer-Aided College Algebra: Learning Components that Students Find Beneficial
    Aichele, D. B., Francisco, C., Utley, J., & Wescoatt, B. (2011). Computer-Aided College Algebra: Learning Components that Students Find Beneficial. Mathamatyc Educator, 2(2), 12-19.

    A mixed-method study was conducted during the Fall 2008 semester to better understand the experiences of students participating in computer-aided instruction of College Algebra using the software MyMathLab. The learning environment included a computer learning system for the majority of the instruction, a support system via focus groups (weekly class meetings), and tutorial services. Emerging themes for the best way to learn College Algebra were (1) use of resources (45.6% indicated View an Example, Video, or Textbook); (2) soliciting help from others (44.7% indicated tutors, time in tutoring lab, or attending Focus Group); and (3) "practice, practice, practice" (approximately 30%). Least beneficial resources identified were textbooks (traditional and electronic), videos, and focus groups. Combini
  • Mathematical E-Learning: State of the Art and Experiences at the Open University of Catalonia
    uan, A. A., Huertas, A. A., Steegmann, C. C., Corcoles, C. C., & Serrat, C. C. (2008). Mathematical E-Learning: State of the Art and Experiences at the Open University of Catalonia. International Journal Of Mathematical Education In Science And Technology, 39(4), 455-471.

    In this article we present a review of the state of the art in mathematical e-learning and some personal experiences on this area developed during the last eleven years at the Open University of Catalonia (UOC), a completely online university located in Spain. The article discusses important aspects related to online mathematics courses offered in higher education programs, including: benefits and challenges, universities offering this type of education, methodological considerations, emergent technologies, learning projects and environments, etc. Also, key aspects of the UOC mathematical e-learning model and its historical evolution are described and analysed. Special attention is paid to mathematical c
  • MemphiSTEP: A STEM Talent Expansion Program at the University of Memphis
    Russomanno, D. J., Best, R., Ivey, S., Haddock, J. R., Franceschetti, D., & Hairston, R. J. (2010). MemphiSTEP: A STEM Talent Expansion Program at the University of Memphis. Journal Of STEM Education: Innovations And Research, 11(1-2), 69-81.

    MemphiSTEP is a five-year STEM Talent Expansion Program at the U. of Memphis sponsored by the National Science Foundation. The project focuses on retention and persistence to graduation to increase the number of STEM majors and graduates. The project includes a summer Mathematics Bridge Bootcamp; research experiences for undergraduates; peer-student and faculty-student mentoring; grants for student professional organizations; STEM learning communities; and a faculty seminar on pedagogical approaches to STEM education. Although the project concentrates on all STEM areas across the campus and each year of a student's undergraduate career, mathematics used in science and engineering is a focal point in many of the project's strategies and a

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