MathMatize Your Classroom: A Webinar by Prof. Jonathan Herman
Prof. Jonathan Herman, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream (LTA) (MATH) at UTM, joined our Lessons Learned Webinar Series to share with us MathMatize, an online math-learning platform, which he co-developed during the pandemic. MathMatize has played a large role in Prof. Herman’s online lectures and classes, and taking advantage of technology is what has most helped him in adapting to remote teaching.
MathMatize is a new online math-learning platform co-developed by Prof. Jonathan Herman. Prof. Herman developed the MathMatize platform in hopes of helping professors easily create quizzes and polls with existing or original questions, and helping students enhance their learning with continuous practice and review. In his webinar on August 12th, Prof. Herman introduced us to the three main features of MathMatize: Live Polling, Online Quizzes, and Gamified Learning Resources.
Updates November 2022: A lot has changed in MathMatize since Prof. Herman delivered this presentation! We've updated this blogpost to include the following information:
- Accessing your of MathMatize license for FASE courses: A premium license for this online math learning platform is currently available for all FASE courses (through to Spring 2023).
- New features added to the MathMatize platform since this blog post was first published
- Live Polling
- Online Quizzes
- Gamified Learning Resources
- Watch the Recording
- New Features (November 2022)
- Accessing your MathMatize Licence for FASE courses (November 2022)
When we first moved to teaching online, Prof. Herman was using Zoom to host his lectures, but he found Zoom’s built-in polling feature to be unsuited for writing math formulas. This motivated him to create a tool that made it easy for him to poll students on answers to math problems and formulas.
On MathMatize, professors can create a poll with their own questions, or choose from a question bank of 3000+ exercises (most created by Prof. Herman himself). The questionbank is searchable by topic. For example, searching ‘linear algebra’ or ‘matrices’ will show questions that fit those categories. Students can join the poll by using a unique 5-digit code or by scanning a QR code, and the professor hosting the poll can choose whether students can access the poll anonymously or must sign in to their account on the app so that they can track the results.
MathMatize also includes features that allow you to engage more with students during the poll. For example, the host can pause the poll to give students time to discuss their answers, and then resume it, allowing students to modify or submit their answers. You can also link definitions to words or examples right in the question itself, and you can create broken down questions that ask for several inputs from students.
Prof. Herman talks about how using these polls has really helped him boost engagement in his lectures and they make it easy for him to create questions using LaTeX.
MathMatize also offers an online quizzes feature, which can be accessed by creating a classroom. Within a classroom, professors can create sections, similar to canvas modules, within which you can add tasks, such as assessments or practices. Assessments allow you to create online quizzes, which work similar to live polls, but are graded and have more advanced settings. In an assessment, professors can select how many times a student can attempt the quiz, when they want students to be able to view the correct answers, how long students can spend on the quiz, when it is due, etc. The advanced settings even include the ability to create adaptive assessments, where students get harder or easier questions depending on how they are doing.
Prof. Herman encourages others to use this tool for tutorial quizzes or for homework assignments, as it makes it easy to add and create questions. New features are in the works and the platform is evolving as more professors across the US and Canada begin to use it. Currently, Prof. Herman is seeking to integrate the platform with Quercus, such that grades from polls and quizzes can be exported directly into the Gradebook.
Not everyone with a MathMatize account has the same access to resources on the platform. This is because if professors are using the question bank for quizzes or assessments, we don’t want students to be able to access all of the questions freely (not until they show up on their assessment). In order to see the question bank and create a classroom, you must have Prof Access, which can be granted when you request it here.
The initial motivation for MathMatize was to create a “Duolingo for Math”, as Prof. Herman describes. He has created three short courses that can act as a supplement for students in mathematics: Intro to Linear Algebra, Fundamentals of High School Math, and Differential Calculus. All three are completely free and open to the public, and are broken down into topics where a student can work on practice questions. The questions start basic, and slowly build up to more complex ones, directing students to short lessons that can hand-hold students through learning the content. Prof. Herman describes these lessons as “short bursts of learning to increase engagement”.
This is just an overview of the main features of MathMatize. In his webinar, Prof. Herman shows us how he has been using this resource in his online classes, talks about how he hopes to use them once we are back in person, and answers lots of great questions from the audience. You can check it out here!
The following features are now available in MathMatize:
- Free form math input, where students enter mathematical expressions. MathMatize has computational software working behind the scenes.
- Randomized exercises. Instructors can put variables into their questions, so that there are infinite variations from one problem.
- Matching style questions.
- Free form text input questions, where students submit text responses.
Accessing your MathMatize Licence for FASE courses
A premium MathMatize license is now available for all FASE courses. To request an instructor account and get access to instructor tools, please contact Prof. Herman: email@example.com.
Professor Herman is a professor at UTM, but MathMatize is still being developed and not yet institutionally supported. If you plan to use MathMatize, we encourage you to read How to safely implement non-vetted tools in your course and CTSI's page for Tools Beyond Quercus.