MATH4S – EDUCATIONAL SOFTWARE MATH FOR STUDENT
VSB – Technical University of Ostrava (CZECH REPUBLIC)
About this paper:
Conference name: 13th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 11-13 March, 2019
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:The aim of this contribution is to introduce mathematical educational software Math for Student (Math4S) created with the support of the Math Exercises for You project (see math4u.vsb.cz). Project Math Exercises for You (2016-2019) supported by the Erasmus+ programme has two main goals. The first one aims to enhance mathematical competencies of students in secondary schools. The second goal targets improving the English skills of students and teachers in secondary schools in mathematics.
The Math4S software is used to practice all areas of mathematics on secondary schools. A student selects an area (e.g. functions, complex numbers etc.), a subarea (e.g. linear functions, binomial equations etc.), a level (A, B, or C) and finally, the number of questions for every selected subarea. An interactive HTML test is generated by Math4S according to the selected criteria. All questions are available in 4 languages – English, Czech, Polish and Slovak. It is possible to switch these languages at any time without any restriction. This includes, both selection of criteria for test generation as well as solving the test. The student receives feedback (evaluation) after answering each question. The final evaluation (the number of correct answers etc.) is shown after finishing the test. The student can return to the questions again and overlook the answers.
Math4S is created in web application platform Angular. Angular is a framework for building applications in HTML. With this platform, Math4S works in all common web browsers and is not limited by either the operating system or the hardware platform. Math4S uses a database of about 4,000 questions in each of 4 languages, with about 16,000 questions in total. The questions for the database were written in the LaTeX typesetting system. The database is stored and maintained in Drupal framework.
The database of 16,000 questions was prepared as a result of the cooperation of 5 secondary schools from Czechia, Poland and Slovakia and the Department of Applied Mathematics, VSB - Technical University of Ostrava. The primary language of the database is English. Each question was designed and peer-reviewed in English. Then, every question was translated into Czech, Polish and Slovak by native speakers. The resulting formulations of questions in these languages is guaranteed by the local secondary schools.
Math4S has a lot of benefits. It supports all majority operating systems and handheld devices (tablets, mobiles). Another important feature is multilingualism, which supports the ability of students from Czechia, Poland and Slovakia to use mathematical English. Users of Math4S appreciate the high level and correctness of the mathematical formulations in the questions from the database. This has been achieved by the fact that all questions have been reviewed by 2 reviewers from VSB – Technical University of Ostrava. High typographic quality has been achieved by using LaTeX math encoding and utilizing the MathJax engine for inserting mathematical content. The database contains also a large number of figures with a goal to strengthen understanding of the geometric meanings of trained topics. All these figures are prepared in vector format and for this reason allow arbitrary zooming without image degradation.
Math4S is a part of the educational web portal math4u.vsb.cz. More information about this web portal can be found in the contribution "Math4U – Math in Four Languages for Students and Teachers".
Keywords: Mathematics, educational software, interactive test, mobile learning, multilingualism.