So now that the dust has settled a bit, it is looking quite likely that high schools and universities will carry their remote teaching protocols into the next academic year. With this article, we wanted to give a high-level overview of all the ways we have been helping teachers and mathematics/statistics faculties set-up a completely online learning journey for the upcoming year. We will be touching on everything from admissions and course delivery to remote assessment and learning analytics.
Given the recent developments, many applicants are unable to take these admission tests due to social distancing and travel constraints. As a response, several education institutions are looking towards an online alternative for their admission tests that are usually administered on campus or in accredited test centers. While useful for all students, this is especially useful for international students who are still interested in pursuing their studies abroad.
This is where we have been helping educational institutions by setting up online proctored mathematics admissions tests that are used to check the basic mathematics sufficiency of incoming applicants. Due to the tests being administered online, applicants will be able to take the test from the safety and comfort of their homes.
We have five off-the-shelf exams that most of our university and college partners use but it is also possible to create customized exams to best fit an institution’s needs.
All of our online modules are accompanied with relevant practice material. Our tool is able to analyse every student input, identify mistakes or incomplete answers, and automatically provide hints specific to each student’s learning path. Especially during remote teaching times, this could prove to be very useful when a teacher is not readily available to help with every student that gets stuck on a problem.
Apart from open mathematical questions, our tool contains 25 other exercise types, including geometrical exercises, graphical input (e.g. lines, vectors, formulas), essays, drag-and-drop and multiple-choice questions. All of our exercises and examples consist of randomizable variables which allow for endless practice at the click of a button.
When it comes to testing content, teachers are free to choose from our existing question bank, author their questions or import (digital or offline) legacy content. Due to the randomisability of our questions, our teachers are able to add an extra layer of security to their tests by ensuring that every student is presented with a similar question but with different variables.
We also have a variety of test settings that help with security such as limiting the IP range of the test taker or enabling full-screen mode. On top of that, we also partner with ProctorU for teachers that want to make an assessment as secure as possible.
All tests are checked and automatically graded with the option for teachers to act as secondary reviewers.
We also have an online forum that encourages student-teacher and peer-to-peer interactions. When struggling with a maths or science problem, students can ask exercise or theory specific questions on the forum. For exercises, our tool is able to show the exact steps taken by the student when presenting their question on the forum, which helps the teacher offer targeted help to the student.
As a teacher, you don’t have to completely change the way you have been teaching for years. Many teachers that use Bolster Academy do so by using the platform as an additional tool, next to their traditional teaching methods that are now facilitated through video conferencing. A good example of this is using Bolster Academy for homework or testing while delivering lectures and workshops via video conferencing. In the end, that is also where we shine.
One of our key ambitions as a company is to help teachers continuously innovate their mathematics and statistics courses. All it takes for you as a teacher is a 60-minute workshop in which we introduce the platform to you.
After that workshop, you are perfectly capable of starting out with the learning environment, learning more and more along your way.