The American Mathematical Association of Two Year Colleges
Fall, 2000 Conference         November 9-12         Chicago, IL
Reaching New Heights


WebCT and The Math Forum:
On-Line Courses and Mathematics on the Internet

Shelly Berman (shelly@mathforum.org)     &     Judy Ann Brown (judyann@mathforum.org)
&     Karen Allnutt (karen.allnutt@webct.com)


About The Math Forum

The goal for this session is to give a guided tour of the WebCt and Math Forum features that enhance and support mathematics education using the Internet.

   WebCT.com & The e-Learning Hub - http://webct.com/
WebCT is the world's most popular course management system, and is supported by the e-Learning Hub -- the first higher education destination site to offer both teaching and learning resources to a community of peers across discipline and institutional boundaries. The site's offerings and functionality continue to grow as it is updated with many new and improved tools, communities and features.

The home page offers easy access to the e-Learning Communities, the Student Center, and Ask Dr. C.

The Mathematics Community offers links to all of the Math Forum Higher Education features, as well as mathemtaical challenges at a variety of levels, and a Higher Ed. Math Newsletter. Students can find links to Jobs or Internships, and help from SparkNotes and Ask Dr. C.
   The Math Forum - http://mathforum.org
The Math Forum is an online community of teachers, students, researchers, parents, educators, and citizens at all levels who have an interest in mathematics and math education. The Math Forum has consistently been recognized as the leader in its field and continues to provide high quality content and useful features, which is reflected by accumulating about 200,000 visits each month.

The home page offers easy access to all of the Math Forum services, with specific entry points provided to aid navigation for the novice, such as the Student Center and Teachers' Place. There are also links to 'What's New' on the site, a Search for Math on the Internet, and much more.
   Problems of the Week - http://mathforum.org/pow
The Problems of the Week are designed to challenge students with non-routine problems, and to encourage them to explain their solutions. There are six Problems of the Week (PoWs): Elementary, Middle School, Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry & Calculus, and Discrete Mathematics. Each PoW is a mentored environment -- i.e., every student submission is responded to by a mentor, and students are encouraged to revise or strengthen their solutions.

There is a searchable archive of over 700 problems, each with the administrator's comments and highlighted solutions. Current or archived problems can be integrated into courses in a variety of ways - as introductory or summary activities, as enrichment, to encourage team work or written communications, to allow the teacher unique access to student thinking, to allow students to mentor other students, and more. See the pow-teach discussion for more ideas.

Please note that, as of Fall, 2000: In addition to these mentored problem environments, there is the collegiate level Macalester College Problem of the Week site that offers problems and, a week later, their solutions.
   Internet Mathematics Library - http://mathforum.org/library/
The Math Forum continues to collect, organize, catalog and annotate thousands of math related web sites from diverse sources to create its Internet Mathematics Library. You can search or browse through over 7,000 items in the collection, organized under the headings of Mathematics Topics, Resource Types, Mathematics Education Topics or Educational Level. "Drilling down" from any heading takes you to a set of categories, then to a page showing subcategories, selected sites, and all sites in the category.
   Ask Dr. Math - http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
Ask Dr. Math is an ask-an-expert service in which anyone in the world can pose a math question at any level. A cadre of volunteer 'doctors' select and respond to problems of interest. In addition to an archive of over 5,000 questions and answers that is searchable by level and topic, there are:
   Teacher2Teacher - http://mathforum.org/t2t/
Teacher2Teacher, like a virtual teacher's lounge, is an environment in which questions are asked and opinions are shared about topics across the broad spectrum of interest to teachers, including classroom techniques, activities, resources, professional development, etc. The archive contains over 500 questions and their related discussion threads. Initial responses are provided by master teachers, including Presidential Awardees for Excellence in Mathematics Teaching, and many questions stimulate a host of responses as issues are explored and opinions expressed.

A frequently asked question, like "what role can manipulatives play in teaching mathematics", can generate much discussion, as found on this FAQ page.
   Math Forum Searches - http://mathforum.org/grepform.html
We have over 300,000 pages of content, so this is quite an extensive search field. Given that ours is a full text searcher, you may want to focus a search in a specific area, or use the "that exact phase" and "complete words only" options.

Efficient searching is an art. On our site, the homepage for each major feature or service has a search option targeted for that service. You will find other useful hints on our Searching Tips and Tricks page, and our Search Features page offers even more detail about such items as the "Starting Points" that are generated for many keywords and topics, and the automatic spell correction, which is often helpful. These features are the result of human efforts to make our search environment more user-friendly. We invite you to contact us to clarify any unresolved confusion or questions.
   Web Units and Lessons - http://mathforum.org/web.units.html
The Math Forum is committed to building upon the activity of the teachers, students, and researchers who use it. The Forum provides a platform and the opportunity to share excellent resources and materials with colleagues world wide.

Exemplary materials created by people in the extended Math Forum community are highlighted in a changing gallery at the Forum Showcase.
   Math Forum Internet Newsletter - http://mathforum.org/electronic.newsletter/
Our electronic newsletter is sent out via e-mail once a week to those who subscribe, and is archived on our site. It offers tips about what we have at the Math Forum and how to find it, notes about new items on the site or on the Internet, questions and answers from services like Ask Dr. Math or the Problems of the Week, suggestions for K-12 teachers and students, and pointers to key issues in mathematics and math education.
   Discussion Groups & Projects - http://mathforum.org/discussions/
The Math Forum's discussion archives include many mathematics and math education-related newsgroups, mailing lists, and Web-based discussions, such as the pow-teach discussion mentioned above, as well as math-teach, numeracy, geometry-pre-college, k12.ed.math, etc. Many discussion sites are very active, like sci.math, which had about 900 threads posted in September, 2000 alone.
   Join Us As a Contributor - http://mathforum.org/join.forum.html/
There are many ways to contribute to the Math Forum community. Beyond using the various services we provide, many people subscribe to the newsletter, participate in T2T and other discussions, and make suggestions, such as alerting us to other good materials and websites they have discovered. Others find satisfaction in sharing their content as web units or lessons, or showcasing their students' work. Many people voluteer their time and efforts to respond to T2T or Ask Dr. Math questions, while others act as mentors for one of the Problems of the Week.

In whatever ways this might work best for you, please know that you are always welcomed and invited to interact with us in our on-line math ed community center.

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