HELP ME - AN E-LEARNING PLATFORM FOR MATHEMATICAL EDUCATION USING JUPYTER NOTEBOOKS
While already established in economics, integrated degree programs in STEM education got more popular in Germany over the last few years. The bachelor degree course "Scientific Programming", offered at FH Aachen University of Applied Sciences, is such an integrated degree program, which consists of 50% mathematics and 50% computer science. It incorporates the MATSE (MAthematical and Technical Software dEveloper) training course in cooperation with research facilities and IT companies located in and around Aachen.
In the last years a growing problem regarding the mathematical part of the curriculum has been noticed: Despite students know that a large part of the curriculum is based on mathematics and chose the program knowing this, there seems to be a lack of understanding the mathematical topics. This gets especially noticeable in the final exams of the MATSE training course. Although these exams have a lower level of difficulty, than the exams from the bachelor degree course, the grades are worse as would be expectable for students who have taken lectures in mathematics.
This paper presents the sketch of a dynamic and adaptive e-learning platform, which makes use of Jupyter notebooks for combining online learning materials with formative e-assessment. There are basic exercises embedded into the learning units, which can be solved and explained by the platform. The platform adapts to a student by increasing or decreasing the level of difficulty for the formative e-assessment based on the student's progress and is able to dynamically generate new exercises for the different topics.
The whole platform uses gamification elements to motivate students to use the system. On the one hand side the platform makes use of badges, e.g. "Student X has completed 10 exercises about computing determinants successfully" on the other hand side the student's progress is - if the student wishes to - published on an internal ranking system. Therefore students can compete with each other on different topics.
The paper closes with a discussion on how to incorporate the previously described e-learning platform into mathematical lectures.