Welcome to the MAA's Professional Enhancement Program

Using Video Case Studies to Develop Students’ Proof-writing Skills
Connie Campbell, Jim Sandefur, Kay Somers

June 2-5, 2015

Registration Fee: $175 per person ($250 for registrations received after April 21, 2015)

Many college students have difficulty developing and evaluating mathematical arguments and constructing proofs. We have developed a library of 40 short videos (5 to 10 minutes in length) showing pairs of students as they work to construct proofs of theorems that are new to them. These authentic videos reveal student thinking processes and can be a useful tool in helping students develop proof writing skills. During a series of interactive web conferences, participants will view and discuss videos together and develop a better understanding of students' difficulties related to proof writing. Participants will then learn various ways in which these videos can be used to help their students overcome these difficulties and will develop plans to use the videos in their own learning environments. Participants will have ongoing access to our complete video library, including ancillary materials that provide suggested uses for each video. The workshop will include follow up on-line discussions occurring late in the fall and spring, allowing participants to share their experiences.

Authoring Effective Homework Problems with WeBWork
Davide Cervone, Gavin LaRose, Paul Pearson, and John Travis

June 8, 15, 22, and 29, 2015

Registration Fee: $175 per person ($250 for registrations received after April 27, 2015)
WeBWorK is an open source, web-based homework delivery system designed to make homework more effective and efficient for students of mathematics and the sciences. It has been used for over 15 years by hundreds of professors and in a wide variety of instructional environments. Participants in this PREP workshop will develop the technical skills necessary to identify, edit and create high-quality WeBWorK problems. These skills will be cultivated through a series of four interactive web conferences and concurrent on-line group work. Participants will be challenged to formulate problems so that they not only validate skills but also foster learning. Design tips for enhancing problem presentation will be proposed. An additional preparatory web conference will be scheduled to provide an overview of the WeBWorK interface for participants with no prior experience. Participants will become active in the greater WeBWorK community and make their own contributions to the WeBWork Open Problem Library.

Becoming a Successful WeBWorK System Administrator
Mike Gage, Jason Aubrey, Geoff Goehle, Danny Glin, and John Travis

July 6, 13, 14, and 20, 2015
Workshop is full.  Registration is now closed. 
Registration Fee: $175 per person ($250 for registrations received after May 25, 2015)

Participants in this PREP workshop will cover the technical skills necessary to install and maintain a robust, reliable, and secure WeBWorK server. These skills will be cultivated through a series of interactive web conferences. As an added benefit, participants will be encouraged to become active in the greater WeBWorK community. This workshop should be most helpful to faculty and IT professionals who are interested in managing a local WeBWorK installation, and might be a useful follow-up for participants who have taken one of the previous WeBWorK-oriented PREP workshops.
All participants should have some understanding of Linux. Participants with minimal Linux background will be offered a brief optional introduction to system management. During the preparatory component, participants will also be provided guest accounts on the national test server and a selection of WeBWorK tasks to perform. We welcome faculty participants to sign up with a local IT system administrator as a team. Each team would only require one PREP registration.

The Inquiry-Based Learning Workshop
Stan Yoshinobu, Matthew Jones, and Carol Schumacher

July 7-10, 2015
San Luis Obispo, California
Workshop is full.  Registration is now closed. 

Registration Fee: $325 per person ($400 for registrations received after May 26, 2015)

Mathematics departments across the country face challenges helping their students move beyond the procedural learning that typically dominates their pre-collegiate math experiences. Inquiry-based learning has proved to be an excellent tool to address some of the shortcomings in the mathematical education of students. The IBL Workshop focuses on supporting college math instructors to implement IBL methods.

The workshop is especially designed for early-career faculty, although all levels of teaching experience are welcome. The workshop introduces participants to IBL methods, and includes discussions based on videos from IBL classes, discussions of teachings and learning issues, sessions on nuts-and-bolts issues, and course content sessions with experienced IBL instructors. The pre-workshop preparatory component includes reading articles and studying IBL-related videos. Participants are strongly encouraged to select a target course as a focus for the course development process. Follow-up activities include a post-workshop mentor program, meetings, and invitations to present at conferences.

Primary funding is provided by NSF DUE-1225833, the Educational Advancement Foundation, and the Academy of Inquiry Based Learning.

A limited number of travel stipends are available for assistant professors, postdocs, and graduate students.

Teaching the Process of Statistical Investigations with a Randomized-Based Curriculum
Nathan Tintle, Beth Chance, George Cobb, Allan Rossman, Soma Roy, Todd Swanson, and Jill VanderStoep

July 14-17, 2015
Roanoke, Virginia

Registration Fee: $325 per person ($400 for registrations received after June 2, 2015)

This workshop is intended for faculty members who have experience with teaching introductory statistics. The goals are to help participants to transform their introductory statistics course in two ways:
• Using randomization-based methods, as opposed to methods based on the normal distribution, to introduce concepts of statistical inference, and
• Emphasizing the overarching process of conducting statistical investigations throughout the course.
Prior to the workshop, participants will read and discuss journal articles and blog entries related to this curricular and pedagogical approach. The workshop itself will provide direct experience with hands-on activities designed to lead students to these two objectives. The learning activities use freely available applets to explore concepts and analyze data from research studies. The workshop will also feature discussions of implementation and assessment suggestions. Following the workshop, participants will engage in an online learning community that provides interaction and support for transforming introductory statistics courses.

Implementing Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) in Mathematics
Catherine Bénéteau, Zdenka Guadarrama, Jill Guerra, and Laurie Lenz

July 15-18, 2015
Tampa, Florida

Registration Fee: $325 per person ($400 for registrations received after June 3, 2015)

The goal of the workshop is to introduce faculty to advanced POGIL techniques in the facilitation and authoring of activities. Participants registering for this workshop should have some previous experience with POGIL, either at a local meeting or a previous workshop. To prepare for the workshop, participants will read a selection of articles, choose a topic for an activity, construct learning goals, and create an initial model. By the end of the workshop, participants will have written an activity for use in their classroom, be able to create additional POGIL activities and run a POGIL classroom effectively. During fall 2015, participants will create writing communities by sharing their activities and providing feedback to each other, using a POGIL activity repository, as well as have the opportunity to share their results at the 2016 Joint Meetings. They will also become members of the extensive interdisciplinary network of POGIL practitioners.

Building Community in SIMIODE - Systemic Initiative for Modeling Investigations and Opportunities with Differential Equations
Brian Winkel, Jessica Libertini, Karen Bliss

July 19-25, 2015
Helena, Montana

Registration Fee: $325 per person ($400 for registrations received after June 7, 2015)

SIMIODE is a web-based community, combining the benefits of online-learning communities, teacher repositories, problem-based and inquiry-based learning, and technology into a web-based environment for the teaching and learning of differential equations through mathematical modeling. This workshop is for faculty who want to teach differential equations using the SIMIODE community. During the preparatory component participants will join the SIMIODE community at and experience Modeling Scenarios from a student viewpoint, Discussion Activities about important issues, and Teacher Groups for developing materials. During the onsite component participants will have opportunities to engage as student groups, to realize the potential of SIMIODE, and to share reactions, experiences, and aspirations for engaging students. Colleagues will work in groups to begin the process toward publishing in SIMIODE. After the workshop activities/conversations will continue through SIMIODE’s web features (e.g., Discussions, Projects, Newsletter) as PREP participants form their own special group inside the SIMIODE Teachers Group.

Teaching Mathematical Modeling as Creative Mathematical Discovery
Dan Teague, Maria Hernandez, and Christine Belledin

July 20-24, 2015
Lincoln, Nebraska
Workshop is full.  Registration is now closed. 
Registration Fee: $325 per person ($400 for registrations received after June 8, 2015)

This workshop—which is supported by MAA Special Interest Group on Teaching Advanced High School Mathematics (SIGMAA TAHSM)—will help faculty at high schools, small liberal arts institutions, and 2-year colleges develop a one-semester course in mathematical modeling that focuses on the creative and exciting aspects of modeling, including agent-based models developed using Netlogo. To prepare for the workshop participants will take an online short course that presents background materials in mathematical modeling and provides some familiarity with Netlogo. During the intensive component, participants will engage with their peers and workshop faculty in creating, presenting, critiquing and evaluating models that they can later assign to their students. The post-workshop webpage will allow participants to share and discuss problems and student work among themselves and with interested professionals (see ). In addition, workshop faculty will offer continuing support to participants who want to prepare teams for success in HiMCM, MCM, and the Moody’s modeling competitions.

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