Reporting from Amsterdam, it's a pleasure to report on day one of the 2014 Maple T.A. User Summit. Being our first Maple T.A. User Summit, we wanted to ensure attendees were not only given the opportunity to sit-in on key note presentations from various university or college professors, high school teachers and Maplesoft staff, but to also engage in active discussions with each other on how they have implemented Maple T.A. at their institution.
We started things off by hearing an encouraging talk by Maplesoft’s president and CEO Jim Cooper. Jim started things off with a question to get everyone thinking; “How will someone born today be educated in the 2030s?” From there, we heard about Maplesoft’s vision on education, learning, and questions we have to ask ourselves today to be prepared for the future.
Up next was Louise Krmpotic, Director of Business development. Louise discussed content and Maple T.A. This included an overview of our content team operations, what content is currently available today, and how users can engage themselves in the Maple T.A. community and get involved in sharing their own content with other users.
We then heard our first keynote presentation by Professor Steve Furino and Rachael Vanbruggen of the University of Waterloo. We were provided with a brief history of the University of Waterloo and mathematics as well as their ever expanding initiative in brining math courses into an online environment both at the university level and high school level. We then heard in detail of how Maplesoft technologies have been implemented in various math courses and the successes and challenges of creating their own content.
I (Jonny Zivku, Product Manager of Maple T.A.) then delivered a presentation on all the new features in Maple T.A. 10. I won’t get into detail about the new features in this post, but if you’d like to read more about it, check out my previous post from a few weeks ago.
Meta Keijzer-de Ruijter of TU Delft University then took the floor and delivered our second keynote presentation. She discussed the history of Delft as well as the new initiative, the Delft Extension School. She then went on to discuss Delft’s experiences with implementing Maple T.A. at their campus and maintaining it since 2007 as well as how they’ve managed to maintain their academic integrity while using online tools. We also had the opportunity of seeing several examples of some of their excellent questions they’ve created which included adaptive, math apps, algorithms, maple-graded and more.
After a delicious lunch break, Paul DeMarco from Maplesoft, Director of Maple and Maple T.A. Development, talked about the future of testing and assessment. Paul went over various topics and how we envision them changing which included partial marks, skills assessment, learning, feedback, and content.
Jonathan Kress from the University of New South Wales was up next and discussed their experiences with implementing Maple T.A. into their mathematics and statistics courses at a first year, second year, and higher level of learning. He then discussed the various scenarios for how Maple T.A. is deployed which included both formative and summative testing. Moving on, we then were briefed on Maple T.A. use from a student's perspective and an overview of various pieces of content.
We then moved on to an engaging panel discussion which featured Grahame Smart, math and e-learning consultant, Professor Marina Marchisio of the University of Turin and Dr. Alice Barana also from the University of Turin. Grahame first started things off by discussing how he doubled the pass rates in his prevoius high school using investigative and interactive learning with Maple T.A. Marina and Dr. Barana then gave us a brief overview of Maple T.A. at the University of Turin and their exciting PP&S project. The panel then answered various questions from the audience
William Rybolt of Babson College then closed off the presentations with a discussion about how his school has been a long time user of EDU, Maple T.A.’s predecessor. Going from ungraded web pages, web forms, and Excel, we heard about Babson’s attempts at converting paper-based assignments into an online format until 2003 when they decided to adopt EDU.
To end the day, we enjoyed a nice cruise on the canals of Amsterdam while enjoying a delicious three course meal. Not a bad way to end the day!
Maplesoft Product Manager, Maple T.A.