Teaching Matters

PS9 R1a Mathematically active online

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Teaching Matters 2020 | Presentation Details | 2 December 20202 Dec 2020


Mathematically active online


  • Jane Stratton, Pre-degree Programs, University College
  • David Vender, Pre-degree Programs, University College


Digital connections

Presentation Type

Lightning Presentation


Room 1




Online interactions lack the cognitively rich channels which we rely on in the physical classroom to learn actively. The rapid transition from face-to-face to synchronous online learning necessitated by COVID-19 thus required a radical rethink of pedagogic strategies; especially in introductory maths units where actually doing, and seeing others doing is crucial. So, how can available tools be used best for active learning online?

Using Zoom, all our students - regardless of location or mode of study - are invited to a weekly workshop, and nominally ‘on-campus’ students also participate in weekly online tutorials. All sessions are co-hosted by two experienced maths teachers to provide a continuing, lively exchange in which students participate using their preferred modes of contact. With attendances exceeding 40 participants, co-hosting is essential to enable rapid responses to questions and help requests over multiple communication channels; including chat, private chat, voice with or without video, and breakout rooms when students require one-on-one assistance.

The workshops consolidate students’ understanding of the material in a flipped classroom framework. Worked examples and ‘your turn’ exercises emphasise activity; with students offering solutions and ideas primarily in chat so that a dynamic, cooperative atmosphere prevails. The tutorials build more individual skills using our extensive library of existing MyLO quizzes. When individuals seek assistance, we can view their quiz progress in real time on MyLO; giving targeted help when it is most needed. In this presentation we include reflections on how students utilise these approaches in creative ways to maximise their learning.

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