As we learned last week, British school administrators will start implementing textbooks from Real Shanghai Mathematics, in which seems to be the first account of department-level math teaching methods commerce in recorded history.
The key learning value offered by Real Shanghai receives the name of “mastery method.” It works by making sure the student is sufficiently skilled on one topic before they can move on the next one. If a student is behind their peers, remedial action is taken right away, before the next lesson is scheduled. This also stresses the importance of keeping the whole class together during the run of the course, and in so doing, making sure every citizen has the same math proficiency at a given age. “Mini plenaries” between problem sets during sessions encourage interactivity, inquisitiveness and collective creation of knowledge. Sound familiar?
Below we offer a starting template of how you can plan a Shanghai mastery method for math teaching in Moodle, the constructionist educator’s weapon of choice. Interestingly enough, other high math performers in the PISA tests have also attempted to brand the method, so you can have “Singapore Math“, or as they happen to cluster around the region, “South East Asia Math.”
- A good calendar. Moodle offers several enhancers. There is also the Checklist plugin which helps keeping track of dates. Next November, Moodle’s default Calendar is set for a revamp.
- Real time skill assessment analytics. There is no shortage of state-of-the-art analytics plugins for Moodle, both paid and free. But to find the one that works, you might do well following our Learning Analytics Roadmap series, to figure out your organization’s level in analytics implementation.
- Unlimited remedial tools. Most of Moodle’s plugins that encourage unlimited attempts to master usually belong in the “gamification” category. Most notably of all is the Quizventure plugin. You can also set Activities such as the Moodle Quiz unlimited, just remember to enable randomization and maybe hide results, so students focus on learning rather than just figuring out the right choices.
- Peer-based (not group) learning tools. Team-based plugins such as Team Builder will help you arrange team using several factors. But remember that teams need some help making themselves comfortable, so make sure you create activities that get students to know their teammates and encourage asking and helping one another. A recent tool we found that might help here is the Treasure Hunt plugin.
- All-purpose mathematics. Last, but not least, remember Moodle has no shortage of specialized plugins to enhance mathematics teaching. This might help students who are fonder of more visual or interactive methods.
This Moodle Practice related post is made possible by: eThink Education, a Certified Moodle Partner that provides a fully-managed Moodle experience including implementation, integration, cloud-hosting, and management services. To learn more about eThink, click here.