Guest Blog written by:
Snjólaug Steinarsdóttir and Þorgerður Jónsdóttir
We teach mathematics at Reykjavik University (RU), Iceland, but we first saw Möbius in action during a visit to the Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, in autumn 2019.
Both Chalmers and RU put enormous effort into mathematics instruction. But one difference between the two institutions was Möbius.
One of the things we noted was how Möbius offered Chalmers educators and students easy access to an array of exercises, teaching materials, and test systems.
We were especially impressed that the platform allowed for unlimited math practice – at any time, place, and pace that students chose.
In each practice session, Möbius gave students instant feedback on how they’d done and explained how to solve problems they’d answered incorrectly. In addition, each time that students worked on a particular exercise, the platform kept the experience fresh and challenging by presenting different variables.
Instructors could review student performance data stored within Möbius to evaluate students’ progress. It also allowed them to pinpoint the areas in which specific students were struggling.
After we visited Chalmers, we contacted DigitalEd and arranged to pilot Möbius for one course during spring 2020. That experience was so positive that we applied for an RU grant to fund the implementation of Möbius for our entire department.
Preliminary Studies programs start with a two-week mathematics course beginning in August. We decided to use this brief course to introduce Möbius to more of the department’s students. As it turned out, our timing was perfect. The course’s assessments usually consisted of exams and group work, but pandemic restrictions made in-person meetings unfeasible. So, the group projects were replaced by Möbius projects.
Students had the option of redoing their projects for a better grade.
The platform retained the best performance, so students could repeat the project as often as they liked without negatively impacting their grade.
As with Chalmers students, Möbius gave RU students feedback on their work, including detailed solution explanations.
By the end of August, we decided to integrate Möbius-based projects into all course assessments. Instead of having in-class, paper-based exercises, students now go online. We keep refining projects, e.g., changing the length, based on feedback from students and teachers.
Students are completing surveys about their experiences with Möbius, but we’ve already seen how the platform benefits students and teachers.
Students have more autonomy, and they don’t have to wait for teacher feedback on their progress. With less time spent on grading, teachers have been able to focus on other work such as developing study materials.
The use of Möbius is beginning to spread. Kristinn Torfason, a research specialist in our department, has started to use the platform, and we’re extremely excited to see how it goes.