Workplace math 10: personalized, online and on demand

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Bowie, Sheryl D.
Personal experience suggests that the continued use of (predominantly) traditional learning practices in senior classrooms, including applied mathematics, is not in the best interests of either learners or educators. While the apparent need for change is seldom argued, change occurs slowly — if it happens at all. Some reluctance on the part of educators may be based on fears of increasing an already demanding workload, or lack of confidence regarding what to do and how to do it. The juggernaut of math education does not readily change direction.The purpose of this project was to provide a choice of alternatives to traditional direct instruction with paper and pencil practice, for the delivery of applied mathematics at the grade 10 level. Access to a web-resource in which students can experience some (guided) autonomy — within the BC 2018 curriculum guidelines — may allow students to achieve greater success and educators may be encouraged to try different approaches. The project was supported by current research in the fields of online instruction, with a focus on mathematics, and exploration of student-focused independent learning methods, including the principles of game design, while incorporating aspects of contemporary best-practices pedagogy. The paper and project are guided by the Critical Challenge Question: 'How can a traditional Workplace Math 10 course be re-designed to provide personalized, online, on demand delivery?' The Major Project is a web-based resource that provides access to materials sufficient to deliver a multi-modal WP10 course with choice of pace, path and process for students, supported by rigorous research, as documented in a companion five-chapter Process Paper.
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