## e-learning for applied mathematics

### Summary

Course |
Linear Algebra for Artificial Intelligence and Informatics |

Lecturer |
Leo Dorst |

Context |
Basic linear algebra, from vectors to matrix decomposition (SVD) and least squares techniques for a large group of 400 students |

Challenge |
Not enough time/opportunity to provide students with enough feedback on the basics |

Design |
e-learning exercises about the basics with automated feedback |

Evaluation |
Students kept up their basic skills and the TA’s could focus on the difficult parts |

Related Topics |
Digital formative assignments and feedback, Large groups, Heterogeneity, Interactive & adaptive course material |

### Interview with Leo Dorst

**Can you tell something about your course before the innovation?
**The students needed to keep up with the fundamentals, in time for the next lecture, but we could only give them feedback on homework once a week, whereas the lectures were twice a week. Also, correcting the basics is not the best use of a TA’s time. And the students tended to plagiarize because of this.

**What intervention was chosen? **

Part of the homework, at the basic drill level, became SOWISO exercises to be completed before the next lecture. Some points could be earned by this.

**Did it solve the issue?
**Yes, students kept up their basic skills, TAs could focus on the next level in the werkcollege and the paper homework. And the randomization made it personal.

**What was the students’ experience?**

Students liked it, and the distribution of final grades became more of a bell-curve (around 7) whereas earlier it tended to be rather uniform.

**Are you going to use it again? If yes, what would you change in the next iteration?
**I already did. And I also tried one year to make part of the exam ‘SOWISO-corrected’, in order to correct it more quickly. This I will not repeat, but rather try using ANS – it was hard to ask reasonable exam questions in SOWISO.

**How much (extra) work did it cost you? Does it outweigh the benefits?**

I actually first did this in ONBETWIST, using mostly exercises that were already present there. Those were translated to SOWISO; the effort was not done by me. It was definitely worth it, and not only for me: now we have lots of LA drills in SOWISO.

**Do you recommend this approach to other lecturers?
**Yes, for subjects that are amenable to this. In fact, I already did, and Calculus and Statistics (by Homburg and van Es) followed the e-drill principle (directly to SOWISO rather than via ONBETWIST).

**Is there anything else you’d like to add?
**There was great supportive help from Henk Kuijpers (ONBETWIST), and from André Heck, Marthe Schut and Jolien Oomens (SOWISO) to enable both the e-drills and the trial with the exams. This was a big surprise, it is rare to have colleagues in such an innovation. It made this innovation much easier than I had ever thought it would; it should be better-known that you do not have to do these innovations by yourself.