Group assignments for contact and communication in distance education
Other conference contribution, 2022

In 2021, we designed and used new group assignments in the first math course of online version of the Foundation Year (Swedish: Basåret.) Besides learning the mathematical content and introducing mathematical software, the goals of the group assignments were:
• To give students an opportunity to meet each other
• To train cooperation and communication in mathematics
• To confront student with open-ended questions
• To widen student’s view of how to study mathematics
Students were randomly assigned to a new group of 4 or 5 each week, and asked to take a specific role in the discussion (e.g. discussion facilitator, illustrator, scribe, connection maker).
Both the format, the formulation of assignments and the use of roles for group collaboration are inspired by research in Mathematics Education. We collected the assignments that were turned in, peer response and a student evaluation, as material for further development and research.
In our talk, we will discuss design, benefits and challenges of using this type of group assignments.

online education

mathematics education

group assignment


Laura Fainsilber

Chalmers, Mathematical Sciences, Algebra and geometry

Linnea Hietala

University of Gothenburg

Øresundsdagen 3 Conference on introductory courses in university mathematics
Lund, Sweden,

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