MatRIC Contact Group – Report from meeting October 9, 2018.

The final composition of the group is not fixed, the goal is to have representation from every Norwegian HE campus where mathematics is a part of the education portfolio. It also a goal that MCG will include representatives from mathematicians and the programmes that mathematics serves such as engineering, economics, natural sciences, teacher education.

An initial meeting of the group was held at a Gardermoen hotel on October 9. Ten HE institutions were represented (HVL, NMBU, NTNU, OsloMet U., UiA, UiB, UiO, UiS, UiT and USN). In addition, there was a representative from Universities Norway (UHR). The agenda of the meeting was composed of a brief presentation of the intentions for MCG, an around the table presentation of issues that are currently facing mathematics teachers, and a presentation and discussion around some actions MatRIC is planning.

It was proposed within the discussion that the MCG might meet formally (as the meeting on October 9, 2018) on one occasion each year. Additional meeatings could be arranged in conjunction with other activies that brings people together such as the MNT conference or the MatRIC conference. Further contact and communication could be by e-mail or publicly through comments posted on the MatRIC webpage.

One of the main issues emerging from the discussion centred on the development and use of programming in teaching and learning mathematics. It is evident that there is a desire for MatRIC to facilitate a discussion around programming. As it happens, MatRIC is already engaged in this, with another centre for excellence in education, Centre for Computing in Science Education (CCSE). MatRIC and CCSE are collaborating in arranging a two-day introduction to programming in Python and SimReal, visualization and simulation in STEM education, to be held at Gardermoen on November 5 & 6, 2018 (see

Other issues in which MatRIC can contribute suggested were:

  • A resource bank for teaching and learning mathematics including, for example, authentic applications of mathematics that mathematicians could use to illustrate their classes.
  • Developing approaches to attract and retain more females in mathematics.
  • Development of a course in mathematics didactics research for mathematicians (possibly as a means of developing competence to supervise research in mathematics education).
  • Supporting the development of shared resources for computer aided assessment (using NUMBAS or STACK).
  • Supporting collaboration across institutions in 'pre-qualifications' courses for engineering students.

MatRIC's web-site can be developed to accommodate many of the above. MatRIC TV also has the potential (already available) to include text and internet links to create a more substantial learning resource. It is planned to embed computer-based self-evaluation questions to assess competences related to each of the videos.

Mette Mo Jakobsen UHR Senior Advisor for MNT Disciplinary Strategic Unit, proposed a joint UHR(MNT)/MatRIC workshop about 'nasjonal retnings linjer og lærings utbytte' for engineering education.

It was agreed that MatRIC will organise a small workshop for interested teachers who are willing to work with the guidelines for implementing the recently agreed framework for engineering education , in particular to develop learning outcomes. Guidelines for the previous framework document were offered as an example of what is required:

The workshop will be arranged to take place between mid-November and mid-December 2018.

MatRIC Conference

MatRIC's Management Board and Advisory Board had already decided that MatRIC's annual conference should continue. The MCG was invited to come with suggestions about the theme(s) for conferences, participate on the conference programme committee, and suggest where the conference could be held. It was suggested that it help to stimulate engagement by mathematics teachers at a university if the conference was held at the university.

MatRIC Server

There are well-developed plans to develop a MatRIC server that would host digital assessment tools (NUMBAS and STACK), resources and provide a flexible solution for trialling innovative digital approaches to teaching and learning. The server would be available to mathematics teachers at other institutions as a platform for developments that were not well aligned to their institution's IT-infrastructure.

MatRIC/NMR Survey

MatRIC has agreed to collaborate with the Norwegian Mathematics Council to conduct a survey of approaches to teaching mathematics (and other characteristics of teaching, teachers, learning and learning). The survey would connect with the earlier inquiry conducted by the Mathematics council in 2013. The aim of the intended survey is to develop a picture of mathematics teaching and learning provision across Norway.

MatRIC Newsletter

Members of MCG were encouraged, if they had not already subscribed, to sign up to receive the MatRIC Newsletter, sent five or six times each year, also to encourage their colleagues to subscribe so that they would be well-informed about MatRIC's plans and actions.

Present at the meeting:

Arvid Siqveland, USN; Bjørn Olav Hogstad, NTNU Gjøvik; Ketil Arnesen, NTNU; Kjell Birger Hansen, UiT The Arctic University of Norway; Lars Arne Jordanger, HVL; Mette Mo Jakobsen, UHR - Universities Norway; Morten Brekke, UiA; Ragnhild Johanne Rensaa, UiT Norges Arktiske Universitet; Simon Goodchild, MatRIC/UiA; Tom Lindstrøm, UiO; Tyson Ritter, UiS; Hans Georg Schaathun NTNU Ålesund; Arlene Hall, UiT; Leiv Øyehaug, Oslo Met U.; Morten Brun, UiB; Joakim Skogholt, NMBU.

The aim is to have representation from each higher education campus where mathematics forms part of the education portfolio. Also it is hoped to have representative sub-groups who are engaged in mathematics education in different programmes - such as engineering, economics, teacher education. For more information about the group, or to be included within the group please contact Simon Goodchild