Project introduction and background information
Most universities offer pre-master programs for students that hold a professional education degree and want to start a master program at the university. Usually, these are one year programs, fully packed with prerequisite courses. Scheduling is a challenge; often it is nearly impossible to put all courses in the right order of content. Furthermore, these students typically have busy schedules, making it hard for them to participate in all on-campus education.
At the technical universities, nearly all pre-master programs contain mathematics courses on Calculus, Linear Algebra and Probability&Statistics, which in addition serve as prerequisites for other courses. To improve flexibility for both students and teachers in the pre-master programs, the four technical universities have started the project Blended Learning. In this project, we aim to build online material for the pre-master programs, covering the mathematics courses. Additionally we will facilitate the use of the online material and the sharing of best practices.
Objective and expected outcomes
The objective of this project is to create online material for the mathematics courses Calculus, Linear Algebra and Probability&Statistics. For each of these three topics the material will be:
- Self-contained: The material will be structured in the form of a self-contained online course.
- Modular: Teachers will be able to take parts as small as individual videos or exercises to incorporate in their own courses.
- Easily adjustable: Teachers will be able get a copy of the course which then can be adjusted to their wishes.
Results and learnings
In addition to the development, we will test these criteria in practice by using the material in on-campus education at the technical universities. We will gather experiences and best-practices, both technical and didactical, and summarize these in a user manual for teachers.
For students: Access to the online material can help students to combine the pre-master program with a busy schedule. Online lectures and exercises will allow the students to catch-up with the course in case not all lectures can be attended. Also, the online material can be used for review of mathematical concepts and techniques as preparation for other courses in the program.
For teachers: Teachers who want to add blended components to a course have a choice; create the material themselves, or try to gather material from others. Both are very time-consuming. The online courses can serve as a source of coherent material that can be used by math teachers to add blended components to their course. The courses on Calculus, Linear Algebra and Probability&Statistics are very similar at the different technical universities, and the material is tailor-made to fit all these courses. Therefore many teachers can profit from this material. Modularity and adaptability give maximal flexibility to teachers. The best practices that we will gather can serve as a source of inspiration for other teachers on how to use the material in their own course.
At the end of the project we will have an overview of recommendations for best-practices.
Contact per technical university:
- Eindhoven: Hans Cuypers (chair)
- Twente: Jan Willem Polderman
- Wageningen: Joost van Opheusden
- Delft: Bart van den Dries