MatRIC has four interdependent work packages focusing on networking, research, innovation and dissemination.
Networking mathematics teachers and user groups.
One main concern addressed by MatRIC is the coordination of innovative effort invested in teaching mathematics. MatRIC seeks to connect teachers to facilitate exchange of ideas and experience.
Objectives:Stimulate, share and coordinate good, innovative practice and experience and enhance teaching through collaboration and exemplary practice. Bring together mathematics teachers with specialist teachers and specialists from the workplace within engineering, science etc. which focus on specific applications of mathematics and learners needs (Special Interest Working Groups – SIWGs).
MatRIC’sweb-site will become a ‘virtual competence centre’. The web-site will be MatRICs resources bank and notice board. MatRIC will work to establish links to the MatRIC web-site from universities, research institutes etc.
MatRIC will establish an annual conference that will bring together teachers of mathematics and user disciplines to present exemplary cases of innovative approaches in teaching mathematics from other countries and within Norway. The conferences will facilitate the formation of SIWGs – initially one for each study programme - and dissemination.
MatRIC will organize regional workshops that will serve an outreach function, to connect teachers of mathematics and user subjects into the Centre’s network, and make the activities of the Centre known.
MatRIC will support visits to international centres of excellence in teaching mathematics and provide opportunities to share the knowledge gained through publication and action.
Research: Evaluation of innovation of teaching and learning.
Another main concern of MatRIC is the knowledge base that supports mathematics teachers experimenting with, or exploring the use of video, digital, web-based and other technologies.
Objectives:Enable the replication of innovation leading to the coordination and validation of knowledge gains and eliminate ‘blind’ repetition that occurs due to inadequate means of sharing. Support the development of a research-informed knowledge base in the use of innovative approaches in teaching and learning, and share this with teachers and users of mathematics.
MatRIC will survey sources of research evidence related to innovation in teaching, learning and assessing mathematics at university, and make this available on the Centre web-site.
MatRIC will survey current efforts to improve the teaching, learning and assessment especially in the use of video, digital and web-based technology to establish a data base of practical information, insights and contacts for others interested in introducing similar innovations.
MatRIC will support research effort by providing small grants (‘seed money’) to enable pilot studies and the development of proposals for external funds to support research and innovation in teaching.
Student modelling laboratory and workplace simulations.
This is a core component of MatRIC as a centre of innovative practice.MatRIC will establish a network and a research base that can be exploited to develop innovative approaches to teaching and learning mathematics through the collaboration of teachers and users in SIWGs.
Objectives: Improve students’ enjoyment and motivation in mathematics. Develop students’ competencies in mathematical modelling in situations related to their ‘user’ programmes. Develop students’ awareness of how mathematics is applied in the workplace and thus motivate their engagement in mathematics. Contribute to students’ understanding of the mathematics as a subject where abstract relationships are related to ‘concrete’ objects of the application. Develop competencies in group work, collaboration, sharing responsibility, and communication skills. Reinforce the need for accuracy and self-monitoring when using mathematics in real contexts.
MatRIC will support SIWGs to develop workplace simulations in which video, digital and web-based resources are used to create contexts in which students apply their knowledge of mathematics to the real world problems and challenges of the work place and research laboratory.
MatRIC will support SIWGs to create “Student laboratory” workshops in which students learn mathematical modelling ‘in-vitro’ through specially structured and focused tasks, and then apply their learned competencies ‘in-vivo’ as they are required to create mathematical models of ‘real-world’ contexts, related to their programmes of study.
MatRIC will support SIWGs working with the development of video, digital and emergent technologies that can be used to improve enjoyment, effectiveness and efficiency in learning, teaching and assessing mathematics.
MatRIC will support SIWGs that focus on the development of teaching and learning mathematics in teacher educations programmes by: exploiting synergies between mathematics teacher educators and university mathematics teachers; the adaptation of products from other SIWGs; and innovation and research within mathematics teacher education programmes.
Dissemination of knowledge.
MatRIC will communicate the knowledge gained through the other work packages through an annual conference, and regional workshops/seminars.
Objectives: Make the activities and outcomes of the Centre known to all ‘stakeholders’ and stimulate collaboration in innovation and research in teaching and learning mathematics.
MatRIC will produce a Newsletter each half year and make this available through the MatRIC web-site. The Newsletter will be aimed at teachers, user groups, policy makers, students and other stake holders of innovation in teaching and learning.
MatRIC will establish a professional journal for university mathematics teachers to share their experiences and insights from innovation. Papers in this journal will provide a ‘launch pad’ for developing articles for publication in international peer-reviewed scientific journals.
MatRIC will support presentation of results from SIWGs at national and international conferences.