Problem-solving in undergraduate mathematics and computer aided assessment

Badger, Matthew (2013). Problem-solving in undergraduate mathematics and computer aided assessment. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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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: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
School or Department: School of Mathematics
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science


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