Maths for all. You can count on it!
When the Marine Society asked us to build on the original award-winning Maths at Sea with a second, more advanced course, we thought pretty hard about the features that had worked in the basic course that we wanted to keep and develop.
Content that mimics real life learning
Needless to say, the content had to be open and use the latest standards of HTML5 and CSS3. But we were also keen to make the most of the lessons we’d learned about helping people understand mathematical concepts.
So Maths at Sea Plus continues the idea of step-by-step explanations. We’ve put ourselves into the shoes of the learner by providing reminders of the basic concepts behind topics such as linear algebra and factorisation, then broken up the lessons into logical steps designed to shepherd users through the new ideas.
This time, we also introduced quick questions allowing learners to check their understanding at a very granular level. The idea is to mimic how a teacher might approach explanations in a classroom, constantly asking for feedback to check each step is understood.
Clear and accessible language
The language used is simple without losing precision. We’ve always believed in accessible content and plain English for all the courses we publish, and hopefully we’ve got the balance right here to satisfy both learners (who need to understand quickly) and those already familiar with the topics (who rightly demand the correct use of mathematical terminology).
Back to the future with animated gifs
We designed a range of static images to help learners with ideas such as trigonometry. But we also went back to the humble animated gif, which is lightweight, works in any browser without problems, and is the perfect medium for explaining many mathematical processes. To build some gifs, we fired up everyone’s favourite 3d package Blender, for others we borrowed from creative commons providers. By way of example, the explanation of radians below is a classic:
And since asking questions is one of the best ways to help people learn, Maths at Sea Plus includes hundreds of them, both embedded in the content and at the end of each topic. These aren’t meant to simply test knowledge, but to teach at the same time – they start simply and build coplexity, in an effort to follow how people really think and make connections.
The Learning Line
The icing on the cake is that the whole course will be deployed on the Learning Line. This means that learners will be able to track their own progress, flag up topics they want to come back to, and get an overview of how they’re doing with our new dashboards. The Learning Line isn’t just a way of recording your learning journey – used right, it’s also a motivator: at tricky moments (and there’s no denying Maths at Sea Plus is hard in places) you can look back and see how far you’ve come.
Ready to start?
Maths at Sea plus will be launching soon. One way to be sure to know about it is to sign up to Maths at Sea... Users of the first course will be first to know and will be offered a launch price discount. Start Maths at Sea today (its just £15)