WOW! Multiplication Observer: A few conclusions

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Thank you everyone who participated in the WOW! Multiplication open course. We will aggregate questions and answers from the Introduction thread, as well as other course resources, into a book on multiplication. As all our materials, it will be an open resource under a Creative Common licence. Thank you for contributing!

Picture: Multiplication Walk poster by Nannan (6) and Keetgi

Here are a few conclusion from the data from course participants. It will help running online courses in the future.

  • For a short course, three forum threads are enough: Introduction, Action, and Help/Resources. As much as we want a planning thread (before action) and a reflection thread (after), it messes up the flow and confuses people. The main Action thread has to be “the thing and the whole of the thing” (Terry Pratchett) – planning questions and reports in one space.
  • We need a clear place that lists everything there is in the course. New happenings can’t just come by email. Major course tasks – all of them – have to appear right away when the course starts, and can’t be “unlocked” later. Otherwise, people have doubts about the flow.
  • For the task design, the Make tasks need to come before Solve/Search tasks. For example, making snowflakes will help people find symmetry models of multiplication during their scavenger hunts. We must explain what this task order does.
  • We need an easy, uniform way to share pictures and stories after the main action is done. Participants suggested voice-over tools where kids can explain their photos, for example. We may run a mini-conference for participants, where they do short-short presentations together.
  • The mixed age activities remain unclear for many people. We need explicit instructions for adapting activities by age, and for running mixed-age Math Circles.

Happy math adventures, everyone!

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Posted in Grow
One comment on “WOW! Multiplication Observer: A few conclusions
  1. I think your comment that Making needs to come before Searching was a problem for us. In retrospect, I think I would omit the scavenger hunt and try to do more Making activities. It would be nice to have several sessions in a row, so we could focus on only one or two multiplication models each session, and then let the scavenger hunt be the big culmination.

    But with only meeting once a month, we really don’t have continuity from one session to the next, so it’s harder to plan a long-term series. I’ll be puzzling over that between now and our next session…

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