Mathematical tales of technology and collaboration

Bill Blyth


Several tales are told about the teaching of tertiary level mathematics, with recurring themes of various forms of technology and collaboration. These include: the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI) program of collaborative eTeaching of advanced mathematics (at Honours level) to small classes at multiple remote sites via Access Grid Rooms (AGRs); AMSI seminars and workshops held via AGRs; some pedagogical issues with eTeaching in AGRs, a proposed pedagogical framework and examples of some software (pdf slide-show, annotations, Word, Power Point, Maple) within the context of both AGR and standard e-presentations; eMarking, where the tutor marks in an electronic environment; computer aided assessment (CAA), using generally available computer algebra systems (CAS) enabled CAA packages (the commercial MapleTA and the open source STACK) and the more powerful CAS immersed CAA using Maple to mark individualised assignments, with plots and comments---a current research topic at RMIT University and Oxford University; and usage of CAA for large classes will surely increase. The development of quality materials is resource intensive: since expertise is geographically distributed collaborative development via AGRs would be valuable.

  • Access Grid.
  • AMSI---Mathematical Sciences Access Grid Honours courses (and course desriptions). 2007--2010.
  • AMSI---Mathematical Sciences Access Grid events and seminars.
  • R. Baskerville. Investigating information systems with action research. Communications of the Association for Information Systems, 2(Article 19), 1999.
  • C. Beevers. Computer Assisted Learning in Mathematics, publications from 1985 to 2008. Available at
  • B. Blyth. Access Grid Retreat 2008 Report. AustMS Gazette, 35, 4 (September), 254--257, 2008.
  • B. Blyth. What is Access Grid? \protect \global \let \OT1\textellipsis .\kern \fontdimen 3\font .\kern \fontdimen 3\font .\kern \fontdimen 3\font \OT1\textellipsis and what is it good for? AustMS Gazette, 35, 5(November), 311--314, 2008.
  • B. Blyth. The Access Grid: Australia - New Zealand collaboration and eTeaching with pdf. {AustMS Gazette}, 36, 1 (Mar), 17--21, 2009.
  • B. Blyth. The Access Grid: AG seminars: protocols and using VLC media player. AustMS Gazette, 36, 3 (July), 183--187, 2009.
  • B. Blyth. Digital ink and annotations in e-teaching of advanced maths. MSOR Connections: special edition featuring articles following the CETL-MSOR Conference 2008 (Continuing Excellence in the Teaching and Learning of Maths, Stats and OR), vol 9, no 4, November 2009-- January 2010, 18--22, 2010. Published by the Maths, Stats and OR Network, UK. Available at
  • B. Blyth and A. Labovic. Assessment of e-Mathematics with Maple. In W.-C. Yang et al., editors, Proc. 9th Asian Technology Conference in Mathematics: ATCM 2004, 143--152. ATCM Inc, USA.
  • B. Blyth and A. Labovic. Active Learning and Fun in First Year using Maple. In P. H. Kloppers, C. S. Joubert and M. E. Joubert, editors, Buffelspoort TIME2008 Peer-reviewed Conference Proceedings, Technology Integration into Mathematics Education (TIME) Conference, Buffelspoort, South Africa, September 2008. Published (CD and online) ISBN: 978-0-620-43454-6, 2009, by Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria.\protect \global \let \OT1\textunderscore \unhbox \voidb@x \kern .06em\vbox {\hrule width.3em}\OT1\textunderscore Peer-Reviewed\protect \global \let \OT1\textunderscore \unhbox \voidb@x \kern .06em\vbox {\hrule width.3em}\OT1\textunderscore PROC\protect \global \let \OT1\textunderscore \unhbox \voidb@x \kern .06em\vbox {\hrule width.3em}\OT1\textunderscore TIME2008.pdf.
  • B. Blyth and A. Labovic. Using Maple to implement eLearning integrated with Computer Aided Assessment. Int. J. Maths. Ed. Sci. Technol., {40}(07), 975--988, 2009. doi:10.1080/00207390903226856.
  • J. Borwein et al.. Coast-to-Coast (C2C) Seminar: Background, History, and Practice; and Apendices A and B. In J. Borwein, E. M. Rocha and J. F. Rodrigues, editors, Communicating Mathematicsin the Digital Era. AK Peters, 2008. Available from jborwein/c2c08.pdf.
  • B. Corrie and M. A. Storey. Towards understanding the importance of gesture in distributed scientific collaboration. Internat. J. Knowledge Informat. Systems, 13(2), October 2007. Springer. doi:10.1007/s10115-006-0062-2.
  • R. Duke and J. Pollard. Case Studies in Integrating the Interactive Whiteboard into the Secondary School Mathematics Classroom. In W.-C. Yang et al., editors, Proc. 9th Asian Technology Conference in Mathematics: ATCM 2004, 169--177. ATCM Inc, USA.
  • J. E. Hughes and A. Ooms. Content-focussed technology inquiry groups: preparing urban teachers to integrate technology to transform student learning. J. Research on Tech. in Educ., 36.4, Summer 2004.
  • C. Jordan, G. Arrowsmith, T. Lowe and B. Mestel. Electronic marking in mathematics---the marker and student perspectives. MSOR Connections, 10, 1, 43--47, 2010. Maths, Stats and OR Network, UK.
  • G. Keady, G. Fitz-Gerald, G. Gamble and C. Sangwin. Computer-aided assessment in mathematical sciences. In Proceedings of the Assessment in Science Teaching and Learning Symposium, The UniServe 2006 Conference, 69--73. UniServe Science 2006. Available at
  • B. Loch and D. Donovan. Progressive Teaching of Mathematics with Tablet Technology. Journal of Instructional Science and Technology, e-JIST, Vol. 9, No. 2, 2006. Accessed via (e-JIST recently merged with the Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, visit
  • S. Mann and A. Robinson. Boredom in the lecture theatre: an investigation into the contributors, moderators and outcomes of boredom amongst university students. British Educational Research Journal, 35(2), 243--258, April 2009.
  • D. J. Miller and D. Glover. Evolution for a revolution: professional development for mathematics teachers using interactive whiteboard technology. In The Seventeenth ICMI Study: Technology Revisited. Hanoi. 2006.
  • L. McArthur, L. Klass, A. Eberhard and A. Stacey. Action research to improve methods of delivery and feedback in an Access Grid Room environment. Submitted. Available from
  • New mathematical sciences taught courses. Connect, 49, April 2007, p.3. Available from
  • R. O'Brien. An Overview of the Methodological Approach of Action Research. 1998. Available at
  • C. J. Sangwin. (2003). Assessing Higher Mathematical Skills Using Computer Algebra Marking Through AIM. In R. L. May and W. F. Blyth, editors, EMAC2003 Proceedings, Proceedings of the Sixth Engineering Mathematics and Applications Conference, 229--234. Engineering Mathematics Group, ANZIAM, Australia, 2003.
  • C. J. Sangwin. Assessing mathematics automatically using computer algebra and the internet. Teaching Mathematics and its Applications, 23(1), 1--14, 2004.
  • C. J. Sangwin and L. Naismith. Implementing Computer Algebra Enabled Questions for the Assessment and Learning of Mathematics. International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, 15(1), 3--18, 2008.
  • P. S. Siew. Flexible Online Assessment and Feedback for Teaching Linear Algebra. Int. J. Math. Sci. Technol., 34(1), 43--51, 2003.
  • E. Yu and W. F. Blyth. A CAL and Testing System and student streaming. In J. A. Bowden and S. Lichtenstein, editors, Student Control of Learning: Computers in Tertiary Education, Proceedings of the CALITE-85 Conference, 391--396. Published by The Centre for the Study of Higher Education, University of Melbourne, 1985.
  • E. Yu and W. F. Blyth. CALTS---An integrated and interactive CAL environment. K. Fielden, F. Hicks, and N. Scott, eds., In {Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education, Proceedings of the ASCILITE-88 Conference}, 253--264. Published by School of Information Sciences, Canberra C.A.E., 1988.

Full Text:



Remember, for most actions you have to record/upload into this online system
and then inform the editor/author via clicking on an email icon or Completion button.
ANZIAM Journal, ISSN 1446-8735, copyright Australian Mathematical Society.