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Adapting an online learning system for school mathematics to mathematics teacher education

Kissane, B., Jacob, L. and Ho, K.F. (2013) Adapting an online learning system for school mathematics to mathematics teacher education. In: Knight, B.A. and Van Der Zwan, R., (eds.) Teaching Innovations Supporting Student Outcomes in the 21st Century. Oxford Global Press, Tarragindi, Australia, pp. 82-96.

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Recent Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) standards for primary mathematics teacher education highlight the significance of mathematical content knowledge for graduating teachers. Online learning systems have become popular for school mathematics in recent years. As the development and maintenance of such systems requires more resources than a teacher education faculty is likely to have available, this study identifies ways of adapting a commercial resource intended for schools to one that is appropriate for teacher education. The study reported is based on the experiences of the authors in building Cambridge HOTmaths into the design of two early undergraduate units for pre-service primary mathematics teachers at Murdoch University over 2011 and 2012. Students are provided with a licence for personal use of the online learning system, and a small mark was allocated to reflect individual student’s engagement with the online materials, partly to recognise the significant learning of mathematics involved, but also to provide an inducement to use it. The software is used periodically in plenary lectures and in workshops, according to individual teacher preferences and practices; specific advice for HOTmaths use is provided in weekly learning guides accessed online by all students. Differences between school use and teacher education use are described in the paper. Data on the extent to which students have made use of HOTmaths are presented, together with student feedback regarding the value of the online experience. Different approaches taken by teaching staff to the use of HOTmaths are also reported. Together, the evidence suggests that there is considerable merit in adapting this resource for use in primary mathematics teacher education.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Education
Publisher: Oxford Global Press
Copyright: 2013 Bruce A. Knight and Rick Van Der Zwan
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