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College Mathematics Instructor Development Source (CoMInDS)

CoMInDS Summer Workshop

CoMInDS is offering a workshop to equip faculty with information and materials needed to start or enhance a mathematics graduate student professional development program. It will be held June 22-24, 2017 at the University of Maine in Orono. Please visit the summer workshop webpage for information including an application and information about funding.

*Please note: This workshop is only open to new participants and will not accommodate any one who attended the workshop in summer 2016.

About CoMInDS

A crucial element of improving teaching and learning in undergraduate mathematics is teachers who are equipped to provide high quality instruction in their courses. Historically, higher education faculty in the mathematical sciences have received little formal preparation for teaching, often no more than a few hours of professional development in the week before classes begin. Similarly, despite the important roles they play in undergraduate mathematics education, little attention has been focused on the preparation of graduate teaching assistants (TAs) for the classroom.

Although some resources are available for the PD of novice college mathematics instructors, faculty who wish to start or enhance a program may find it challenging to locate instructional materials or faculty with experience to draw on. There are informal networks of people who work in this arena but the networks’ informality make the resources that do exist inaccessible and/or difficult to locate for those new to the work.

The purpose of CoMInDS is to provide better access to resources for college mathematics instructor development and to create durable versions of the existing informal networks.

We are creating an infrastructure, housed and supported by the MAA, to enhance the mathematics community’s ability to provide high quality, teaching-related professional development (PD) to graduate students. Project components are designed to address the needs of three core groups whose efforts have significant influence on the quality of undergraduate mathematics instruction:

  • Providers: Faculty who provide PD to graduate student Teaching Assistants (TAs).
  • Scholars: Faculty and graduate students whose research and other scholarly activities center on the teaching of undergraduate mathematics.
  • TAs: Graduate students whose responsibilities include teaching mathematics courses.

Project Objectives

  1. Establish a professional community of practice comprising Providers, Scholars, and TAs. Experienced Providers will serve as Mentors to faculty wishing to start or improve a PD program. Activities include site visits, collaboration on materials development and adaptation, and evaluation of the success of their programs. We are also creating structures to support collaboration among those who conduct research and those who develop TA PD materials. Efforts of both groups will be enhanced via collaborations that use research findings to inform materials development and that use experiences from implementation of the materials to inform research agendas.
  2. Offer professional development and resources to Providers who are preparing graduate students to teach undergraduate mathematics. We are conducting three kinds of workshops. For one sort, participants provide materials for the Resources Suite and generate annotations of those materials. In other workshops, we equip faculty with information and materials needed to start or enhance a TA PD program and to evaluate their programs. Lastly, we provide online collaborative opportunities for graduate students to participate in PD. Graduate students from institutions around the country will participate in a series of synchronous and asynchronous activities focused on various topics related to the teaching and learning of undergraduate mathematics.
  3. Develop an online resource suite of instructional materials and research products related to TA PD. The resource suite includes instructional materials and products of scholarly activity along with resources for assessment and evaluation of TA PD for use by Providers. Instructional materials include sample syllabi for TA PD courses, lesson plans, activities with instructor guides, and video- and text-based case study materials. Products from scholarly activity include a searchable guide to research papers, books and other relevant scholarship accompanied by annotations from experienced Providers and Scholars. Resources for assessment and evaluation include data collection instruments, information on program and course evaluation, and findings from evaluations of PD efforts. Content for the resource suite is gathered initially via existing informal networks in which project team members are active. The project will also seek out materials from existing PD programs and experienced Providers and Scholars who contribute to and provide annotations to materials in the suite. This helps ensure that the design and content of the suite are valuable to likely users and ensure the capture of expertise in the field in a durable way. In the long run, the explicit crowdsourcing potential of the MAA membership will be a powerful method to develop, maintain, and improve the resource suite.
 

Leadership Team

  • Jack Bookman, Duke University
  • Sarah Schott, Duke University
  • Emily Braley, Duke University
  • Natasha Speer, The University of Maine
  • Doug Ensley, Mathematical Association of America
  • Shandy Hauk, WestEd
  • Jessica Deshler, West Virginia University
  • Robin Gottlieb, Harvard University
  • Sandra Laursen, Univ. of Colorado – Boulder
  • Dave Kung, St. Mary’s College of Maryland  

 

 

 

Support for this MAA program is provided by the National Science Foundation (grant DUE-1432381).

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