MU-MAP – Mapping University Mathematics Assessment Practices
The HE Mathematics Curriculum Summit (Rowlett, P., ed, 2011, HE Mathematics Curriculum Summit. MSOR Network) noted that mathematics assessment is often based around timed, closed book examinations. A variety of assessment approaches would improve the student experience but the evidence for alternative approaches is limited and not well known.
The Summit made a recommendation:
Research project to provide a review of existing theory of assessment schemes for mathematics and collect examples of good practice on use of different assessment methods for mathematics;
Explore exemplars of innovative approaches to assessment;
Develop a repository of assessment teaching resources;
Develop a package of question design support for new lecturers.
This project will address this recommendation.
This project will survey assessment practices across university mathematics and develop resources to share good practice. It will also focus on the costs and effects of the change required to implement good practice in new contexts so that lecturers can both see what others are doing and understand the practical issues involved if they wish to adapt those methods to their own practice.
The project will have a number of key foci:
a comprehensive review of the literature; a survey of existing practice;
identification of good practice;
detailed examples of the costs and effects of change.
The MU-MAP project will lead to the following outputs:
The MU-MAP website: Including searchable databases of literature and electronic versions of all other outputs.
The MU-MAP Good Practice Book: Containing different forms of assessment practice, with exemplars and discussions of the costs and effects of change.
Professional articles: Including the literature survey and the assessment practice survey. Each case study from the final phase may also form a professional article.
Research articles. Where empirical research is undertaken in the final phase, these may form the basis of research articles in mathematics education journals.
It is intended that heads of department and directors of studies will use the outputs to be able to match course and module aims to assessment methods, understand the relationship between content, learning and assessment and, where needed, develop strategic plans for future assessment policies. The training of new lecturers can draw on the materials to add a much needed evidence-based and subject-specific focus on assessment at this level.
In addition, established mathematics lecturers will be able to examine their own assessment practice in the light of their peers’ work and get a clear understanding of the practical issues involved in undertaking change in their practice. The community will benefit from resources which address a need identified by the HE Mathematics Curriculum Summit.
Further information about this project is available from http://www.uea.ac.uk/edu/mumap.