TalkMath

A digital and flexible learning platform for mathematics

Project: Digital learning

Published Jan 26, 2017

How to enable the learning of mathematics independent of time and place, without limiting the ability to group work participation or study counseling? With the digital and flexible learning platform TalkMath, students will be able to meet and solve math problems together, or with a teacher, in real time. Ultimately, the platform could be developed for other subjects at different levels. TalkMath is a Vinnova-funded collaborative project between KTH and Smartera AB that combines research, development and innovation. The project is led by Professor Stefan Hrastinski, head of the Digital learning unit at the Learning Department at KTH.

About the project

KTH and Smartera AB will jointly develop the learning platform TalkMath, where teachers and students can meet in real time for learning mathematics. Mathematics is said to be an important pillar for the development of the knowledge society. But the teaching method is still mostly traditional with teacher-led instruction in a specific room at a specific time.

Adult education, both at upper secondary, college, and university level, often stress the importance of having a network with other students who help each other with their studies. Adults who study at a distance (or due to e.g. family or work do not have the opportunity to participate in group work face-to-face) have, however, reduced opportunities for interaction with teachers and other students. Today’s education is generally characterized as not being able to meet the needs of students who need help when they need help, e.g. in the evenings.

The project wants to create a digital platform specifically designed for learning mathematics online where students can meet each other or a teacher and study together in real time.TalkMath is planned to consist of a communication tool with text, audio, and a shared digital whiteboard. Special features in order to discuss mathematics, e.g. support to draw figures and write formulas, will also be developed. TalkMath will be able to be used as a standalone tool or through integration with other learning platforms and MOOC courses, using open standards.

Method

The project is to be based on an iterative development process with focus groups, interviews and analysis of user data where the platform step by step is developed and rigorously evaluated by users. We will have a product ready for public release and an appropriate funding model ready by the end of this project.

Activities

The project is divided into eight different work packages and time-periods. Below are a few activities:

The invitation for participation in the project

At the beginning of 2018 the opportunity to participate in the project will be offered with both targeted invitations (to mathematical institutions and providers of adult education in Sweden), and an open invitation (to national and international institutions of higher education and adult learning).

Annual conference

At the end of the project period there will be a conference for increased knowledge and experience exchange on the use of TalkMath.

Launch in 2019

TalkMath expects to be launched (with a sustainable funding) in early 2019. Revenues will be used for the management and research-based iterative development and evaluation of TalkMath.

Contact

For a more detailed description of the work packages or project, contact the project manager Stefan Hrastinski.

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Belongs to: The Department of Learning in Engineering Sciences
Last changed: Jan 26, 2017