On 29 September 2022, my Monash colleague Karen Hogeboom and I presented a poster and gave a talk at the 28th Australian Conference on Science and Mathematics Education (ACSME). The ACSME conference is an annual conference for tertiary science educators organised through the Australian Council of Deans of Science.

Karen and I (mostly Karen) created a poster based on my experiences of teaching online during the pandemic, compared to other mathematics classes taught at the same time. The poster is titled “Accidental experiment in mathematics classroom shows how to engage online students”. It is available at the ACSME 2022 poster website and below.

Karen and I (again, mostly Karen) gave a talk at the conference, also entitled “Accidental experiment in mathematics classroom shows how to engage online students”.

The abstract was published in the Proceedings of The Australian Conference on Science and Mathematics Education (2022). It can be found at the proceedings website and below.

Title: Accidental Experiment in Mathematics Classroom Shows how to Engage Online Students

Abstract: Melbourne COVID rules during semester 1, 2021, unintentionally created a large comparative study between students learning mathematics entirely online and those with some face-to-face classes. An analysis of student results for semester 1 found that students enrolled in online mathematics tutorials had both consistently lower participation and lower final marks than on-campus students. Except for one first-year mathematics subject where there was no difference between the two groups of students.

Class participation can be used as a measure of student engagement (Alrajeh & Shidel, 2020). In this particular first-year mathematics subject, the Unit coordinator made significant efforts to create an inclusive environment reducing barriers to participation faced by online students. Students were given multiple opportunities and incentives to stay engaged. The tutorials were highly structured and students were placed into formal cooperative learning groups, creating a learning environment both collaborative and collegiate (Johnson, Johnson & Smith, 2006), facilitating individual accountability, intrapersonal relationships and social support.



Talk at Australian Conference on Science and Mathematics Education, September 2022
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