Research

Online assessment

I have a longstanding, practical interest in automated assessment of mathematics. Most recently, I have been using the STACK online assessment system in my teaching, particularly in the fully-online course, Fundamentals of Algebra and Calculus.

I have various projects underway to investigate aspects of the influence of online assessment on students' learning.

Diagnostic testing and assessment analysis

I contributed to the development of the Mathematics Diagnostic Test which has been in use at the University of Edinburgh since 2011. Each year it is taken online by around 1000 new students who are enrolled in courses taught by the School of Mathematics.

In 2017 I secured funding from the Princpal's Teaching Award Scheme for a two-year project to evaluate the performance of the test and to implement improvements.

Classroom practices

I am the principal investigator on a multi-disciplinary project, Classroom Practices and Lecture Recording, which makes use of recordings of lectures to characterise the range of teaching practices taking place in various classes. We are using this data to investigate the relationship between classroom pedagogy and various other measures such as student attainment and student usage of lecture recordings.

Two-stage assessments

In a two-stage assessment, students complete the task (e.g. an exam) individually before working in small groups to complete the same (or a related) task. I have made use of this approach in my teaching, and have also undertaken a study of their effect on learning in a variety of mathematics classes.