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Problem-solving in undergraduate mathematics and computer aided assessment

Badger, Matthew (2013)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Problem solving is an important skill for students of the mathematical sciences, but traditional methods of directed learning often fail to teach students how to solve problems independently. To compound the issue, assessing problem-solving skills with computers is extremely difficult. In this thesis we investigate teaching by problem solving and introducing aspects of problem solving in computer aided assessment.

In the first part of this thesis we discuss problem solving and problem-based pedagogies. This leads us, in the second part, to a discussion of the Moore Method, a method of enquiry-based learning. We demonstrate that a Moore Method course in the School of Mathematics at the University of Birmingham has helped students' performance in certain other courses in the School, and record the experiences of teachers new to the Moore Method at another U.K. university.

The final part of this thesis considers word questions, in particular those involving systems of equations. The work discussed here has allowed the implementation of a range of questions in the computer-aided assessment software STACK. While the programmatic aspects of this work have been completed, the study of this implementation is ongoing.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Sangwin, Christopher and Hermans, Dirk
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
Department:School of Mathematics
Subjects:QA Mathematics
QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:4694
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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