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Volume 1, 2021

STEM Education

May 2021 , Volume 1 , Issue 2

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Embedding opportunities for participation and feedback in large mathematics lectures via audience response systems
Christopher C. Tisdell
2021, 1(2): 75-91 doi: 10.3934/steme.2021006 +[Abstract](292) +[HTML](61) +[PDF](495.64KB)
Abstract:

The purpose of this work is to interpret the experiences of students when audience response systems (ARS) were implemented as a strategy for teaching large mathematics lecture groups at university. Our paper makes several contributions to the literature. Firstly, we furnish a basic model of how ARS can form a teaching and learning strategy. Secondly, we examine the impact of this strategy on student attitudes of their experiences, focusing on the ability of ARS to: assess understanding; identify strengths and weaknesses; furnish feedback; support learning; and to encourage participation. Our findings support the position that there is a place for ARS as part of a strategy for teaching and learning mathematics in large groups.

Good practices of delivery and teaching leadership for online educators in technical disciplines: A perspective
Tasadduq Imam
2021, 1(2): 92-103 doi: 10.3934/steme.2021007 +[Abstract](93) +[HTML](121) +[PDF](384.01KB)
Abstract:

While there are works on best practices in teaching, there is a lack of literature that concerns the associated leadership aspect. However, contemporary online educators largely play the role of leaders consciously or unconsciously. Further, STEM and technical social science subjects like finance can be related to a substantial cognitive load if instructions are poorly designed, and more so in an online context where students and educators may not have a close connection. This perspective article, drawing on the author's own experience as a successful online educator with consistently high student satisfaction scores and multiple teaching awards and referring to literature, conceptualizes good online teaching practices in technical disciplines across two dimensions – virtual leadership and cognitive load management. The perspective then suggests strategies particularly applicable in technical disciplines to achieve satisfactory learning outcomes. It is acknowledged that online delivery and style of teaching adopted by educators can be subjective and dependent on context. However, the practices suggested, including communicating expectations, developing trust-relationship with students, adaptations beyond conventional teaching and textbook, and designing and sequencing resources while considering cognitive load management, may positively impact online students' learning experience in STEM and technical social science disciplines.

Mathematics skills and STEM multidisciplinary literacy: Role of learning capacity
Usman Ghani, Xuesong Zhai and Riaz Ahmad
2021, 1(2): 104-113 doi: 10.3934/steme.2021008 +[Abstract](82) +[HTML](49) +[PDF](379.75KB)
Abstract:

Previous studies highlighted the role of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education in the development of mathematical skills while how mathematical skills influence STEM multidisciplinary literacy is under researched. Therefore, the purpose of current study is to explore the significance of mathematical skills (spatial imagination ability, calculation ability, and reasoning ability) in STEM multidisciplinary literacy. Further, to better understand the relationship between mathematical skills and STEM multidisciplinary literacy, students learning capacities was investigated as a mechanism. The theoretical findings of the study show that spatial imagination ability, calculation ability, and reasoning ability positively linked with STEM multidisciplinary literacy. Additionally, the findings show that students learning capabilities mediate the relationship between mathematical skills and STEM multidisciplinary literacy. Future directions of the study are also discussed.

Inspiring and engaging high school students with science and technology education in regional Australia
Yujuan Li, Robert N. Hibbard, Peter L. A. Sercombe, Amanda L. Kelk and Cheng-Yuan Xu
2021, 1(2): 114-126 doi: 10.3934/steme.2021009 +[Abstract](267) +[HTML](54) +[PDF](1355.31KB)
Abstract:

In the last two decades, there was a continuing declining participation rate in STEM education, especially in secondary schools in regional Australia. To reverse this trend and inspire rural school students with science and technology education, both federal and state governments identify the new strategies to promote STEM engagement of school students. In this study, with Queensland government's Engaging Science funding support, Central Queensland University researchers collaborated with rural school to deliver a demonstration with hand-on experiences of drone technologies to students. The activity led students to understand the application of drone technologies in daily life, especially agriculture sector. These activities impressed local communities including both teachers and students by demonstrating real-world problem-solving skills, with increasing over 25% participating students' interest in STEM education. This also leads more future collaboration opportunities to deliver other projects to supporting rural schools' STEM education. Future challenge for conducting these activities would be preparing the activity materials that fit the learning style and time schedule for different knowledge levels of students.

Unification of the common methods for solving the first-order linear ordinary differential equations
William Guo
2021, 1(2): 127-140 doi: 10.3934/steme.2021010 +[Abstract](92) +[HTML](45) +[PDF](343.97KB)
Abstract:

A good understanding of the mathematical processes of solving the first-order linear ordinary differential equations (ODEs) is the foundation for undergraduate students in science and engineering programs to progress smoothly to advanced ODEs and/or partial differential equations (PDEs) later. However, different methods for solving the first-order linear ODEs are presented in various textbooks and resources, which often confuses students in their choice of the method for solving the ODEs. This special tutorial note presents the practices the author used to address such confusions in solving the first-order linear ODEs for students engaged in the bachelorette engineering studies at a regional university in Australia in recent years. The derivation processes of the four commonly adopted methods for solving the first-order linear ODEs, including three explicit methods and one implicit method presented in many textbooks, are presented first, followed by the logical interconnections that unify these four methods to clarify student's confusions on different presentations of the procedures and the solutions in different sources. Comparisons among these methods are also made.

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