OCMA Annual Conference 2021

Monday, October 25, 2021

9:30 - 10:00

Lessons Learned: Online Mathematics Education Today and Going Forward 

A foundational cornerstone of Vretta’s Intromath platform has always been to include rich interactive lessons paired with assignments, quizzes, and exams to deliver meaningful, pragmatic solutions to support students in their mathematics education journey. During the pandemic, the transition to fully-online course configurations was brought to the forefront of our user-base. New requirements and additional features have further expanded the capabilities to include a more robust platform ready to continue online education or transition to hybrid. Join us in reviewing the new flexible features of Intromath and discussing the future of mathematics education through a variety of delivery methods, content updates, and supplemental add-ons.

James Howell and Shoeb Mozammel, Vretta Inc.

10:00 - 11:00

Mathematics and Numeracy in Uncertain Times 

How has my personal and professional teaching practice been augmented by events of the past year? I will focus on two phenomena that have challenged those of us teaching mathematics at the college level and have stimulated me to start to rebuild my own relationship with mathematics, augmenting my teaching practice. 1. Indigenous and other ways of knowing. What is it that formal mathematics practice offers to the students who come through our doors? Why do so many students remain resistant to the mathematics that we are offering them? What is the mathematics that I should be teaching and how is that different from the mathematics that I am teaching? 2. The post-truther cultural phenomenon has gone mainstream in the United States, and has a strong foothold in Canada, challenging the idea that scientific, or any other system of knowledge can act as a foundation for truth about our health and welfare, or the health of our society and planet. How can mathematics education contribute to help educate individuals to be a part of rather than apart from rational discourse, and what does rational discourse even mean? The foundation for the presentation (with an activity or two) will lean on ideas from Brent Davis, Gelsa Knijnik, Thomas King, Jordan Ellenberg, Conrad Wolfram and others who have helped ground my attempt at building a stronger foundation for my relationship with mathematics, and mathematical thinking. Fundamental to that will be an attempt at creating a clear distinction between mathematical and numeracy tasks for college math courses as a foundation for rethinking mathematics curriculum in the colleges. 

Taras Gula George Brown College

11:00 - 12:00

A Re-Design of Business Mathematics 

The current pandemic accelerated a need for a solution to redesign our Business Math course in response to the changing learning environments and industry expectations. In this session, we will present how we have re-vamped our first semester Business Math course, connecting the course concepts through a storyline that follows a fictitious business. Interdependent case studies with realworld/industry-simulated applications were designed. Microsoft Excel was used to build industry skills. We created new materials, including an OER in Pressbooks, Using Excel in Business Math. We will share student anecdotes, challenges, and successes. 
Jelena Loncar-Vines and Lisa Koster Conestoga College

01:00 - 02:30

KEYNOTE: ON THE EDGE OF MATHEMATICS: FROM THE CLASSROOM TO APPLICATIONS AND INFINITY Mathematics is often called the “Queen of Sciences”, being praised for its clarity, elegance, and beauty, and for its applications in science, technology, and in our daily lives. This talk will take you on a journey on the edge of mathematics and its many applications. Mathematics has always been the cutting edge of reason, as language in which the laws of the Universe are written, allowing scientists to explore the edges of time, space and light. In the classroom, mathematics keeps everyone on the edge: keen students on the edge of their seats, anxious students on the edge of despair, teachers on the edge of patience, while technology companies and pedagogic practice are pushed to the edge of innovation. Mathematics also keeps us on the edge of faith. Dare to take the leap, and you are exposed to spiritual delights on the edge of disbelief, such as infinity, fractals, and magic formulae. 

Dr. Ovidiu Bagdasar, University of Derby, United Kingdom

03:00 - 04:00

Randomized Assessments 

One way to enhance the learning process and promote academic integrity is randomizing questions and assessments. It allows students to learn more from the same practice set. It makes cheating harder, online and on campus. Various approaches are possible, from rearranging and pooling existing questions to creating your own variable sets, while keeping assessments fair and manageable. I will show how to create algorithmic questions and randomized tests on paper (using Word and Excel), and in various online systems (like Pearson MyLab, Brightspace, Moodle, and Blackboard). 

Natalia Pshenitsyna Sheridan College

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

09:30 - 10:00

Discover Maple Learn 

In this talk, you’ll learn about how Maple Learn and Maple Calculator continue to evolve rapidly as tools for teaching and learning. Maple Learn is an online math tool offering a unique, like-paper-butbetter environment that puts all the visualization, solving tools, and interactivity you want at your fingertips, while also giving you the flexibility to work through steps like you would on paper. Maple Calculator is an all-in-one calculator app that lets you solve problems, check homework, and explore graphs on your phone. Both products are designed specifically to support teaching and learning of mathematics from high school to the end of second year university, and both are free to use. During this presentation you’ll have the chance to see both products in action, learn about recently introduced features such as step-by-step solutions, and even get a glimpse of what is coming next. 

Nadia Sid Maplesof

10:00 - 11:00

Is the Pandemic Medium Really the Message? 

There have been communication challenges in teaching, such as migrating face-to-face course materials to an online format, but also instruction within online formats. Also, college students are moving into careers where globalization is generating communication issues. In both case, written communication dominates, and a degree of fluidity and responsiveness is lost. This has led to more clarifying emails that are distinct from class time. Our presentation explores different circumstances around the theme with a view that awareness allows one to address the issues. 

Tim Sibbald and Carmen Wehrstedt Nipissing University

11:00 - 12:00

Building an Inclusive Community in Online Courses 

Since the pandemic started in 2020, I came to believe that being able to connect with students and offering them the space and opportunity to work with each other is more important than content covered for a course. The challenges that come with online teaching are not trivial to overcome, and I invite everyone to ponder on the question of what matters the most to you when it comes to student’s learning experience. For me it is an inclusive community where I can reach everyone and offer multiple ways for students to engage with each other and with the course content. This presentation is about how I set my classes up to achieve that.

Xinli Wang University of Manitoba

01:00 - 02:00

Harnessing the power of technology to facilitate a creative approach to improve student engagement and assessmen

It is not a secret that the engaged mind learns better and subsequently tests better. In this presentation, I will share my year long quest into strategies and designs of online course elements to help my students become better learners and math lovers. From before-semester-start surveys and weekly videos/clips/memes to interesting online synchronized lectures with a final Math Escape Room activity, this presentation will provide insight in what kept students coming back with anticipation what will be presented next. Different approaches will be shared on how students can be influenced to learn even challenging concepts or discover their inner creator in overcoming obstacles, the mathematical way. 

Frosina Stojanovska-Pocuca Mohawk College

02:00 - 03:00

OCMT: Elevating Numeracy in a 100% Digital Environment

One of the many impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the significant decrease, if not the total loss, of in-class learning. This loss of crucial in-class moments and face-to-face teaching of fundamental mathematics can likely result in many students not being able to achieve the required level of numeracy to succeed in their academic and professional lives. To supplement this loss of in-class time, online learning and assessment tools now have to take an increased level of importance in all students’ education. Learn in this session how the digital platform developed by all 24 Ontario colleges, OCMT, has been used over the past year at schools and colleges across the country to provide students with an avenue to improve their level of numeracy. 

Emily Brown Sheridan College and James Howell Vretta

03:00 - 04:00

Creating an Immersive and Digitally Augmented Introductory College Calculus Course 

When delivering an introductory college calculus course, it is essential that students are able to grasp the fundamental concepts presented throughout the course and not only be able to understand those ideas but also connect them with their everyday lives. During this session, learn how we supported calculus students during the pandemic by creating introductory calculus resources designed with custom-built questions using stepwise solutions and interactive components that brought online calculus to life. Also, you will learn how we created a unique system for non-proctored online exams/midterms with multiple security features to prevent collusion. 

Paul Obour Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

09:30 - 10:00

Visualizing Math with Pearson 

Do your students struggle with “visualizing” the math in your course? Join this session from Pearson where they will discuss how they have brought static figures to life in business math, precalculus, and calculus. Interactive figures allow students to engage with the mathematics and develop a deeper visual and conceptual understanding of the course material. 

Euan White and Katherine Baker Pearson

10:00 - 11:00

Going First and Thinking Aloud for Self-Regulation 

This past semester with my online courses, I struggled to think of a way to monitor students’ learning as they worked through practice problems, something I would normally walk around the class and observe. My solution was to have students record themselves thinking through and explaining their process for solving questions and then having other students review their videos. This would allow me to see if students were “getting it” and allow some face and voice interaction among students. What also emerged was helping students articulate their learning and supporting their self-regulation, leading to better student confidence. My presentation is about my journey and its great results. 

Heather Milburn Durham College

11:00 - 12:00

Pictures at an Exhibition: Graphical Representations of Fall 2020 Student Performance in Math Courses

In fall, 2020, we had the rare opportunity of having both online assessments and in-person evaluations during the pandemic. We’ll show visual depictions of student achievement but will leave the interpretations up to you. Come wander the halls of this art gallery to see what you see! 

Anahita Izadpanah, Julian Jarosh, Chris Lynes, Stephanie Manson, Sandra Thyssen Fanshawe College

01:00 - 02:00

Introduction to an Open-Source Teaching and Assessment System – MyOpenMath 

Humber’s mathematics department has fully transitioned all of their math and statistics courses (approximately 10,000 students on the platform per year) to a robust open educational resource platform (MyOpenMath/IMathAS). In this presentation we will highlight some key features of this system, such as the use of question libraries, live polls and randomized assessments. Attendees will be given access to three fully developed online courses, complete with learning materials and randomized quizzes.

Colleen Ball and Kate Zhang Humber College

02:00 - 03:00

What’s the Deal with Fractions? 

During my session at OCMA2020 the issue was raised that students routinely struggle with fractions. Why is that? There has been considerable research regarding fractions that clarifies a variety of issues. This presentation will address recent curriculum changes with respect to fractions and the larger K–12 place of fractions. The implications about fractions for college instruction and students heading into careers are not conclusive, but there are a number of strategy implications. 
Tim Sibbald Nipissing University

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