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Making connections: engaging student technology teachers with a mathematics module

A presentation from the STEM Annual Conference 2014.

Over the last three sessions we have redeveloped a Mathematics module for student Technology teachers to provide an experience that is more relevant to the students’ intended career. The most recent version uses Moodle forums wikis and the "External Tool" facility social media group projects and Mahara. Previously this was essentially a revision module intended to ensure that students could cope with the mathematical aspects of the rest of their course. Students were required to complete ten topic tests and attendance was mandatory only until they had done so leading to a "race to finish" attitude. Engagement was minimal and the relevance of the module to the remainder of their course was poorly understood. We introduced a "topics wiki" in which groups of students collaborate to provide additional explanations and resources around the course content. The efforts so far are very worthwhile and will be of use to those with less experience of Maths and to future students. Students are encouraged to discuss module content during class time and in the forums and Facebook group. We are also encouraging students to use the wikis and group projects to build personal e-portfolios using Mahara. In this presentation we shall set out our reasons for redesigning the existing course and for selecting the additional activities. We shall report on students’ reaction to this year’s module present examples of student engagement with the course and put forward ideas for further development which could be the basis for discussion.

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