A colleague recently asked me for some references on commonly used active learning approaches in teaching mathematics. I located a few useful ones for her, and I thought I’d recycle my email to her here on the blog in case the references are useful to others, as well.
- Maria Andersen of Muskegon Community College has a great overview of common instructional practices in mathematics. This is a nice resource to get oriented to the teaching landscape in mathematics, and it works as a sort of menu for instructors interested in active learning methods.
- For an introduction to cooperative learning in mathematics, try Cooperative Learning in Undergraduate Mathematics: Issues that Matter and Strategies that Work, a Mathematical Association of America publication edited by Elizabeth C. Rogers, Barbara E. Reynolds, Neil A. Davidson, and Anthony D. Thomas. Check out the MAA online book review to get a sense of the volume.
- The Journal of Inquiry-Based Learning (IBL) in Mathematics publishes course notes for specific math courses designed around inquiry-based learning. The journal is funded by the Educational Advancement Foundation, which has a strong commitment to the Moore method of teaching math in which students essentially prove all the key theorems in a course from first principles. That’s kind of the hard-core version of IBL that’s frequently used in certain grad-level courses, but there are “lighter” versions, too, that are used in undergrad courses, even intro courses.
- As regular readers know, I’m a big fan of teaching with clickers. Project MathQuest was an NSF-funded initiative that generated hundreds of clicker questions for two particular math courses (differential equations and linear algebra). Their resources page has links to question banks for other courses as well as articles on teaching math with clickers. One of the resources listed is the GoodQuestions Project at Cornell University, which focused on using clickers in calculus. For even more ideas, there’s the math category on my clickers blog.
What am I missing here? Contributions are welcome in the comments!
Image: “Spiral out… keep going” by Flickr user _Tawcan / Creative Commons licensed