Pedagogical experiments with MathCheck in university teaching
MathCheck is a relatively new online tool that gives students feedback on their solutions to elementary university mathematics and theoretical computer science exercises. MathCheck was designed with constructivism learning theory in mind and it differs from other online tools as it checks the solutions step by step and shows a counter-example if the step is incorrect. It has been in student use since the autumn of 2015 and under design-based research from the first online day. The main research questions of this study are the following. 1) How can the usage of MathCheck support the aspects of conceptual understanding and procedural fluency of constructivism learning? 2) How can MathCheck empower both students and teachers in the education of mathematics? This paper presents the results of five pedagogical experiments considering both students’ and teachers’ point of views. In each experiment, the students have suggested improvements, which have affected the further development of MathCheck. In general, both students and teachers have given positive feedback on MathCheck. MathCheck seems to support learning better than tools that only provide the “incorrect”/“correct” verdict after checking the answer. MathCheck is suitable for independent studying as well as an addition to traditional lectures. In the best case, it can reduce teachers’ workload during courses.