You are cordially invited to join us for the
School of Mathematical Sciences
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
3:35 – 4:25 p.m.
Ross 2238 (Conference Room)
Hortensia Soto-Johnson
“Diverse Assessments Implemented in Abstract Algebra That Promote Discussion, Learning and Community
Given issues related to differences in learner characteristics, effective sampling across the content domain, and recent emphases on assessing meaningfully contextualized abilities and higher-order cognitive processes, the ‘traditional’ mathematics test arguably does not provide a valid measure of student ability” (Watt, 2005). Thus, educators must implement assessments that provide opportunities for students to demonstrate and enhance their mathematical knowledge. In this study I investigated students’ reactions to different assessments used in a first and second semester abstract algebra course. I describe the assessments used including, traditional tests, presentations, group work, and oral components. The analysis of an attitude survey, questionnaire and student interviews indicate that different students prefer different assessment tools, but that a majority of the students found a medium that reflected their knowledge of abstract algebra. I will further discusses the correlation between the oral and written component of the final for both the first ( r = .82) and the second (r = .50) semester course along with the implications of these correlation values. Furthermore, I will summarize how these diverse assessment tools helped promote a sense of community in our class.