MATEAS no CIDMA

A partir de 2015 o projeto MATEAS passou a integrar a Linha Temática do CIDMA com o mesmo nome, tendo-se nessa altura (ou, mais precisamente, a partir dos finais de 2014) iniciado as atividades do Seminário MATEAS.

Da Linha Temática MATEAS fazem também parte os projetos MEGUA e SIACUA.

Incluímos abaixo, em inglês, uma descrição dos objetivos dessa Linha Temática:

We have three main objectives in the Thematic Strand:
  1. Sharing and registration of teaching and assessment approaches on mathematics courses in Higher Education.
  2. Curricula development taking Human Cognition into account.
  3. Research, development and application of computer systems for autonomous learning in mathematics.
Objectives 1 and 2:

The experience has shown that getting students to learn mathematics in the courses they pursue in Higher Education is not an easy task. This is reflected by the high percentage of failures, by the number of times a student has to repeat a course before he or she can pass, and by the poor command on the subject matter we discover many times even in students who have passed the courses.

Since teachers at Higher Education institutions do not necessarily have an initial acquaintance with teaching techniques, a good percentage of them find themselves trying different approaches after some time, in order to overcome the difficulties mentioned above. The problem is that these activities are not usually registered, and in this way it is difficult for others to learn from such experiences and to advance from the points which were already (formally or informally) tested.

The previous observation led us to create, a few years ago, the site http://mateas.wikidot.com, so that, in particular, such experiences could be registered and be useful for others. This is one of the activities we would like to keep.

Such a site and the associated seminar shall also serve as a vehicle to spread the ideas, coming from research in Education, that have proved to work, in particular the ones that seem better adapted both to Mathematics and to Higher Education. This will be of vital importance for the overall objectives of this Thematic Strand, specially in the case of studies relying on Human Cognition. In the long run this would allow us to develop curricula better adapted to the learning process and reach our goal of getting students to learn mathematics better and in a timely way.

Objective 3:

With the Bologna Process, autonomous study in Higher Education is becoming increasingly important. Our focus is on computer systems capable of providing some feedback to the student on his/her autonomous study.

We have in the University of Aveiro two computer systems generating questions from parameterized templates. One of them is PmatE, well known for its yearly maths competitions, with an enormous amount of true/false questions. Another one is MEGUA, with an increasing number of multiple choice questions with detailed answer. A Web application, SIACUA, making use of these two kinds of questions, is being tested since 2013 in Calculus. This Web application implements a Bayesian student model and, in addition to the feedback provided by the questions, it provides a general feedback about the subject of study.

Within this objective we have several avenues of research:

  • Research and implementation of student models and algorithms for adaptation to the learning process of each individual, using Influence Diagrams and/or Fuzzy Logic.
  • Analysis of data collected by our computer assisted learning systems, in order to improve them, in particular its correlation with student results in assessment, using Statistics, Logical Analysis of Data and possibly other tools.
  • Development of a specification language of parameterized question generation templates and compilation into several question generation systems.
  • Creation of a declarative mathematical language for student use with possible feedback in case of mathematical errors.
References:

Eva Millán, L. Descalço, Gladys Castillo, Paula Oliveira e Sandra Diogo, Using Bayesian networks to improve knowledge assessment, Computers and Education, Volume 60, Issue 1, 436-447 (2013).

Pedro Cruz, Paula Oliveira, Dina Seabra. Exercise templates with Sage Math. Tbilisi Mathematical Journal. Volume 5, No. 2 (2012), pp 37-44.


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