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An investigation of assessment and feedback practices in fully asynchronous online undergraduate mathematics courses

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posted on 08.05.2015, 12:45 authored by Sven Trenholm, Lara AlcockLara Alcock, Carol Robinson
Research suggests it is difficult to learn mathematics in the fully asynchronous online (FAO) instructional modality, yet little is known about associated teaching and assessment practices. In this study, we investigate FAO mathematics assessment and feedback practices in particular consideration of both claims and findings that these practices have a powerful influence on learning. A survey questionnaire was constructed and completed by 70 FAO undergraduate mathematics instructors, mostly from the USA, who were each asked to detail their assessment and feedback practices in a single FAO mathematics course. Alongside these questions, participants also answered the 16-item version of the Approaches to Teaching Inventory. In addition, a novel feedback framework was also created and used to examine how feedback practices may be related to participants' approaches to teaching. Results show that assessment and feedback practices are varied and complex: in particular, we found there was not a simple emphasis on summative assessment instruments, nor a concomitant expectation these would always be invigilated. Though richer assessment feedback appears to be emphasized, evidence suggests this feedback may not be primarily directed at advancing student learning. Moreover, we found evidence of a reliance on computer--human interactions (e.g. via computer-assisted assessment systems) and further evidence of a decline in human interactions, suggesting a dynamic that is both consistent with current online learning theory and claims FAO mathematics courses are becoming commodified. Several avenues for further research are suggested.

History

School

  • Science

Department

  • Mathematics Education Centre

Published in

International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology

Citation

TRENHOLM, S., ALCOCK, L. and ROBINSON, C., 2015. An investigation of assessment and feedback practices in fully asynchronous online undergraduate mathematics courses. International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, 46(8), pp.1197-1221.

Publisher

© Taylor and Francis

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date

2015

Notes

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology on 1st May 2015 available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/0020739X.2015.1036946

ISSN

0020-739X

Language

en

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