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. References
  • Access Grid.
  • AMSI---Mathematical Sciences Access Grid Honours courses (and course desriptions). 2007--2010.
  • AMSI---Mathematical Sciences Access Grid events and seminars.
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  • 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.
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  • 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
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  • 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.





Proceedings Engineering Mathematics and Applications Conference