OCMA Annual Conference 2023
May 24, 2023
12:45 – 2:15
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to take to the skies with the TOP SUM of mathematics education. As educators, we’ve been flying high with technology for years, from basic calculators to advanced graphing calculators and cutting-edge tools like Desmos, PhotoMath, and WolframAlpha. But now, we’re pushing the envelope even further with artificial intelligence that can produce an essay solution to a math problem, explain how to solve it step-by-step, and even provide instant feedback to students. But is ChatGPT playing by the rules, or is it bending them? Is it time to tighten up our computer and internet security for exams? And perhaps most importantly, will AI ultimately replace human math teachers? It’s time to engage in a high-stakes dogfight of ideas as we dive into the capabilities and limitations of ChatGPT.
Will we choose to fight against this new technology, or will we embrace it and use it to our advantage? Join the conversation as we explore these questions and more. This is your chance to be a TOP SUM of math education and take control of the skies of the future.
2:30 – 3:00
Top Tools to Close the Math Skills Gap among Students
Many instructors have been seeing students struggle in their math courses as they transition from high school to postsecondary level. This presentation will discuss the specific math skills that students are challenged with and the factors that contribute to this skills gap. We will also cover the teaching strategies and tools such as Pearson’s MyLab Math that can help close this gap to ensure student success.
Melody Vincent Pearson
2:30 – 3:00
Hypatia is on the tarmac and about to take off into the next stratosphere!
We all like to dream. We all like to envision what is next. Have you ever wondered how Vretta’s IntroMath platform can get any better? Like an airplane ascending into the clouds, we have spread our wings and taken off with our imagination, bringing our dreams to reality, our vision to fruition, with the introduction of our latest technological advancement, Hypatia! Hypatia is everything and more that an instructor and student would be looking for in an impactful and dynamic platform. With an improved user interface and transformative functionality all across the board, Hypatia welcomes you to the beginning of a memorable journey! Join us aboard as we prepare to take flight with Hypatia and be prepared for the ride of your life!
Shoeb Mozammel and James Howell, Vretta Inc.
3:10 – 3:40
Address Unfinished Learning and Create Equity in your Math courses with ALEKS
ALEKS is a course assistant that helps instructors forge Constructive Learning Paths for students—blending personalized modules with instructor-driven assignments to ensure every student always has another block to build on their
nowledge base. Learn how you can customize ALEKS to match your course deliverables, and see how ALEKS meets students
where they are, introduces what they are ready to learn, and guides them to where they need to be.
Greg Nosal McGraw Hill Education
3:10 – 3:40
Maple Learn: Teaching, learning, and doing math online just got easier!
From disruptive advancements in technology to the sudden increase in remote learning and working, how we teach, learn, and do math is evolving rapidly. In response to this shifting landscape, Maplesoft created Maple Learn to help schools amplify their mathematics teaching excellence and provide engaging, interactive experiences for their students. In this presentation, you’ll discover how Maple Learn provides a flexible interactive environment for solving problems, a great platform for conceptual learning, and incredibly simple content development and deployment solutions. You’ll also discover low- effort ways to take advantage of Maple Learn in your classroom immediately, despite your busy schedule.
Max McKee Maplesoft
3:10 – 3:40
CASIO’s totally redesigned ClasswizTM high-performance scientific calculator will be unveiled at OMCA!
ClasswizTM is the world’s first non-graphing scientific calculator and has a built-in function to create and provide visualization of data & graphs.
Solutions, data and expressions can be converted into a QR code then scanned from an internet-capable smart device for visualization. Students can then manipulate variables with sliders and tables to understand how outcomes could change. Learners have free access to a basic version of ClassPad.net. ”
Gordon Brown Casio
3:50 – 4:20
Planes, Trains and TI?
Tom will share the exciting new Python coding ability with TI technology to drive robotic cars, fly Tello drones and control Micro: bits.
Tom Steinke Texas Instruments
3:50 – 4:20
Close Student Knowledge Gaps with Knewton Alta’s Dynamic Remediation
Do you find yourself reviewing basic math concepts in class before you can move on? Do you find your students lack confidence in their prior math knowledge?
Knewton Alta is accessible, affordable and adaptive courseware that provides students with the support they need at the moment they need it. The Alta learning experience goes beyond homework—it pairs practice with personalized learning that offers detailed answer explanations, integrated just-in-time instruction, and remediation of the pre-requisite skills, all based on student performance. Instructors have granular control of the content in a mastery-based adaptive solution aligning your course objectives and assignments. Join us for a demonstration of Knewton Alta for Calculus ET with Pre-Calculus review to see how Alta makes calculus easier to learn and to teach.
Kasey Caines and Giancarlo Candinario Wiley
3:50 – 4:20
Supporting Students with WebAssign and your Open Education Textbook
WebAssign from Cengage is proud to support the Open Educational Resource (OER) community and is an OpenStax Ally, providing you with a powerful and affordable online learning platform with popular OER texts in Mathematics.
Come explore how to use WebAssign with an OER title to deliver your course with engaging online homework assignments, secure testing, eTextbook access and study resources at an affordable price.
Scott Brayne and Rishi Lakhani Cengage
Location: 420 (Main Bldg, 2nd floor)
May 25, 2023
9:00 – 10:00
Push it to the Limit: Predictive Potential of Informed Remediation
Core numeracy isn’t only about simple computation – numeracy is about recognizing the engines in our everyday language and life and understanding its mathematical significance. Our students come to us with a variety of math learning journeys. Our goal, as instructors, is to support the journey’s trajectory and safely land the plane. By understanding that each student has their own contrail of mathematics knowledge, we can better support student success by filling in the gaps before it fades away.
Even top performing students coming into college calculus courses may experience turbulence in their first semester. Core numeracy is a life skill that needs to be continually honed and practiced to build upon a strong foundation.
By diagnosing and upskilling core numeracy concepts as a first mission in your class, we can make informed decisions to plot the right course. Come learn about the ways in which the OCMT can support your students.
Emily Brown Sheridan College, James Howell Vretta
9:00 – 10:00
Developing a Three-week Statistics Component in a First-Year Math Course
In the School of Biological Sciences and Applied Chemistry (SBSAC) at Seneca College, two-year diploma students do not take a full statistics course in their upper semester. Acknowledging the importance of statistics, a three-week statistics component is taught within the second-year math course. SBSAC diploma programs revolve around laboratory technicians in the biological and chemical sciences, thus the content in the statistics component is quite specialized. During this presentation, I will discuss where these students will see statistics in their future careers and the specific statistical concepts relevant to them. I will also provide an overview of the three-week plan and the rationale for those topics. This set of material would not have been fully tested in the course yet, so I welcome suggestions and feedback during the presentation.
Monica Wong Seneca College
9:00 – 10:00
Unified Approach to Teaching Mathematics (with examples in financial mathematics)
In this section, I would like to discuss a unified approach to teaching mathematics whichb is natural and obvious, but despite this, is in danger of being forgotten. By “unified” I mean the approach in which the foundation is carefully presented to students and then many facts are derived as corollaries. In other words, the subject matter of a course is
unified as a tight logical structure. There is nothing ground-breaking about this: it is an ancient approach, and, in fact, should be the only approach. It is not even an approach; it has been the axiom of teaching for thousands of years. Unfortunately, today we observe the development of another movement which treats tightly connected mathematical material as a disconnected set of topics. The proponents of this ideology argue that by avoiding logical dependency they help weaker students “understand” more advanced topics better (well, “memorize” would be a better word). They say that giving students an algorithm and technology, without explaining the logical foundation of the algorithm, helps students solve complex problems. So, what is the right approach?
Maksim Sokolov Seneca College
10:15 – 11:15
Calculated Humor: A discussion on comedy in application to teaching mathematics
There is a common myth that a sense of humor cannot be learned. That people are either born with it or not. That those who are not “funny” people, might be able to memorize a few jokes, but they will never be good at it. It is the same myth commonly believed about learning mathematics. Humor is a powerful classroom tool, that is absolutely learnable. Humor enhances student focus and enjoyment in the classroom, increases students’ ability to remember what is discussed in class, and can be used to illustrate and explain numerous mathematical concepts. This presentation will give a technical explanation of what a joke is, perfectly leading into how to write and discover your own jokes to use effectively in the classroom. We will also discuss the benefits of using humor in the mathematics classroom, giving examples of several jokes that illustrate mathematical concepts, and how those joke can be used as an effective learning tool.
Alexander Gurevich Humber College
10:15 – 11:15
Live from the Cockpit
Real-world data from the pandemic is being intercepted and relayed to us at an
unprecedented rate. Preparing our pre-health students to interpret, use, and react to a variety of scenarios requires us to utilize pragmatic examples involving real-time data.
Turn your classroom into a training simulator, in order to ensure your “cadets” are equipped for successful completion and are ready to engage with and respond to any scenario that may arise in the field. Come discover new ideas and exchange best practices as we look at using real COVID-19 data to teach concepts in mathematics and statistics to students in pre-health and health sciences.
Sean Saunders Sheridan College, Myriam Thanasse Algonquin College
10:15 – 11:15
Help us evaluate a numeracy task development rubric
Have you struggled with creating good numeracy tasks, or are you looking for ways to reason about what makes a good numeracy task? We have adapted Conrad Wolfram’s computational thinking model (define-abstract-compute-interpret) to inform the development of a rubric which we are confident will survive scrutiny from OCMA attendee perspectives. We propose that this rubric will help college professors assess and improve the numeracy tasks they are currently using, and to develop new ones. With your help, we will stress test the rubric’s usefulness in practice by analysing numeracy tasks that we have selected and invite you to bring along numeracy tasks of your own for us to examine.
Taras Gula George Brown College, Miroslav Lovric McMaster University
11:30 – 12:30
Using Cognitive Neuroscience to Inform Mathematics Education
For students to gain math skills they must be active participants in the receiving and processing of skills into working memory. I’d like to demonstrate how in practice it is focussed attention and repetition that enables the transfer of new concepts and working memory into long term memory, allowing students to acquire new knowledge and skills.
Focus and attention can be achieved through merging traditional methods such as notetaking with advanced tools and technology. Prior knowledge and motivation give support to the process of acquiring knowledge, which is why we see strong foundations as being so critical to learning new ideas and bridging gaps in concepts. In this short presentation I will discuss using educational theories based on cognitive neuroscience, such as the Unified Learning Model, to teach mathematics. I will then drill into the tactical approach of building curriculum including sample outlines, templates, tools, and technology I’ve used in my own classes and finally the experience, results and benefits observed for students.
Tanya LeRoux Durham College
11:30 – 12:30
Leveraging AI in Mathematics Education: The Impact of ChatGPT and Similar Tools
Artificial Intelligence is transforming the way we approach problem-solving, and ChatGPT is a prime example of this revolution. In this talk, we will provide a high-level overview of AI and how ChatGPT simulates human reasoning. We will delve into the unique capabilities of ChatGPT, such as its ability to understand and respond to natural language, and how these capabilities make it an ideal tool for teaching mathematics. We will showcase real-world examples of how ChatGPT is being used to improve student engagement, facilitate personalized learning, and enhance problem-solving skills. Finally, the talk will conclude with an open discussion on the future of AI in mathematics education, particularly at the college level. This will include a consideration of the challenges and limitations of using ChatGPT and similar tools in the classroom, as well as the ethical considerations involved. Attendees will leave this talk with a deeper understanding of the role AI is playing in mathematics education and how it is likely to impact the future of college-level teaching.
(full disclosure: the description above was generated by ChatGPT)
Eden Burton Seneca College
11:30 – 12:30
Corps Math: Flexible First Semester Math Delivery
In the Fall of 2021, I was tasked with a mission to create a remedial math course for students across the college who failed their first semester math course. The goal of the course was to re-integrate the students back into their different programs, while covering foundational mathematics topics. I began with an analysis of foundational math courses and cataloged their learning outcomes, revealing a central group of common topics. With destreaming and realignments of the high school math courses on the horizon, I needed to create a flexible offering that could be extended, and abridged wherever necessary.
I sought to adapt a resource in such a way to accommodate all the possible pathways. The project’s result was a customizable eTextbook and assessment bank that is modularized for different programs, while still remaining continuous and coherent for any incoming student.
Erin Kox Fanshawe College
May 26, 2023
8:00 – 9:00
To research or not to research, but what is the question?
One of the action plans of the OCMC (Ontario Colleges Math Council) is to stimulate research in math education at the college level. We as members of an informal subcommittee propose a session in which we bring together those who are interested in learning more about research in math education with those who have experience. The main focus of the series of short presentations with discussions is to help figure out a way for the OCMC to be a voice for math education researchers in the colleges. Especially of interest is the need for support (i.e course release) needed to help get research developed.
Questions we aim to tackle in this session:
- What research in math education has been happening at the colleges over the last years?
- What are the logistical and framing challenges faced by researchers?
- What is Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL)?
- How can faculty use participation in college Industry research as a foot in the door to research in education?
Taras Gula George Brown College, Cameron Redsell-Montgomerie Mohawk College,
Kate Zhang Humber College
9:00 – 10:00
Into the Gamer Zone
Are you tired of being on autopilot in your classes? Sick of the same flight plan every semester? Are you stuck in a holding pattern and looking for a way out? Do you long for the thrill that you used to experience? Well, set your coordinates to this presentation, where we’ll look at some games that you can play with your students to get them excited about the core mathematical concepts behind them. We’ll take some basic maneuvers and add some twists, turns, inversions, and even barrel rolls. So hold onto your coffee, because you’re not going to see some of these ideas coming!
Sean Saunders Sheridan College
10:15 – 11:15
Detecting Bandits beyond visual range
Just because we’re back in the classroom, it doesn’t mean we’re safe from new technology and its misuse in our airspace. Rogue Bandits will misuse technology to their advantage, and won’t follow every rule of engagement by the book. With never ending advances in modern technology, our instructors need to be prepared for what Bandit pilots will be capable of. Before you engage in a dogfight, you need to be aware of potential threats beyond your visual range.
OpenAI’s ChatGPT is the latest potential threat, which was claimed by Elon Musk to be “Goodbye Homework!” Visit this session to discuss this innovation, and how to develop applications in statistics to outfox these Rogue Bandits.
Joshua Emmanuel Humber College, Sean Saunders Sheridan College, Lisa MacKay
Southern Alberta Institute of Technology
10:15 – 11:15
Using Padlet to Facilitate Class Work
We will present how we are using Padlet in the virtual and in-person classroom to facilitate class work. Various features will be discussed that provides both instructors and students’ quick feedback.
Jelena Loncar-Vines Conestoga College, Carol Leppinen Conestoga College
11:30 – 12:30
Implementing a Test Recovery Strategy in Foundational Mathematics
Students continue to show a lack of foundational math skills to succeed in college algebra. This often leads to an unfavorable first grade in a major evaluation and can result in unsuccessful outcomes on completion of the course. We designed a modular boot-camp in partnership with our program tutors to support a test recovery strategy. The tutorial sessions were designed to focus on key challenge areas ranging from orders of operations to exponent law and these students were evaluated on these themes in
the final session. Our data show that offering a portion of the evaluation grade to be recovered incentivized participation and improved student success in our courses. These results suggest that the development of a foundational course that can be amenable to self-directed should improve foundational mathematics skills that lead to increased academic success.
Anthony Tavares Sheridan College
11:30 – 12:30
Teaching Without Tests (A Business Statistics Experiment)
Coming back to in-person teaching after COVID, this is the first time through a condensed version of Statistics for the Business program. For various reasons, I’ve decided to assess students without the use of tests this semester. It’s an in-progress experiment and still in the early stages at the moment, but I’m already noticing some positive outcomes. By the end of the semester, I’ll be able to share my experience, with (hopefully) some pros and cons of this approach and some advice on changes I might make next time around.
Mallory Andrews Loyalist College