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Modes of modelling assessment-a literature review
Linköping University, Department of Mathematics, Mathematics and Applied Mathematics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2013 (English)In: Educational Studies in Mathematics, ISSN 0013-1954, E-ISSN 1573-0816, Vol. 84, no 3, 413-438 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper presents a critical review of literature investigating assessment of mathematical modelling. Written tests, projects, hands-on tests, portfolio and contests are modes of modelling assessment identified in this study. The written tests found in the reviewed papers draw on an atomistic view on modelling competencies, whereas projects are described to assess a more holistic modelling competence but obstacles regarding reliability of assessing projects are identified. The outcome of this investigation also indicates that the criteria used in frameworks or modes of assessment seldom are derived from a theoretical analysis, but more often based on ad hoc constructions, experience from assessment situations or empirical studies of students work. Finally, this study suggests that an elaborated view on the meaning of quality of mathematical models is needed in order to assess the quality of students work with mathematical models.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Verlag (Germany) , 2013. Vol. 84, no 3, 413-438 p.
Keyword [en]
Mathematical modelling, Assessment, Literature review, Modelling competence
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-100474DOI: 10.1007/s10649-013-9491-5ISI: 000325702900008OAI: diva2:662985
Available from: 2013-11-08 Created: 2013-11-08 Last updated: 2014-01-23
In thesis
1. Modes of Mathematical Modelling: An analysis of how modelling is used and interpreted in and out of school settings
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Modes of Mathematical Modelling: An analysis of how modelling is used and interpreted in and out of school settings
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The relevance of using mathematics in and for out-of-school activities is one main argument for teaching mathematics in education. Mathematical modelling is considered as a bridge between the mathematics learned and taught in schools and the mathematics used at the workplace and in society and it is also a central notion in the present Swedish mathematical syllabus for upper secondary school. This doctoral thesis reports on students’, teachers’ and modelling experts’ experiences of, learning, teaching and working with mathematical modelling in and out of school settings and their interpretations of the notion of mathematical modelling.

The thesis includes five papers and a preamble, where the papers are summarised, analysed, and discussed. Different methods are being used in the thesis such as video analysis of students’ collaboration working with modelling problem, interview investigations with teachers and expert modellers, content analysis of textbooks and literature review of modelling assessment. Theoretical aspects concerning mathematical modelling and the didactic transposition of modelling are examined.

The results presented in this thesis provide a fragmented picture of the didactic transposition of mathematical modelling in school mathematics in Sweden. There are significant differences in how modellers, teachers and students work with modelling in different practices in terms of the goal with the modelling activity, the risks involved in using the models, the use of technology, division of labour and the construction of mathematical models. However, there are also similarities identified described as important aspects of modelling work in the different practices, such as communication, collaboration, projects, and the use of applying and adapting pre-defined models. Students, teachers and modellers expressed a variety of descriptions of what modelling means. The variety of descriptions in the workplace is not surprising, since their working approaches are quite different, but it makes the notion difficult to transpose into school practise. Questions raised are if it is unrealistic to search for a general definition and if it is really necessary to have a general definition. The consequence, for anyone how uses the notion, is to always be explicit with the meaning.

An implication for teaching is that modelling as it shows in the workplace can never be fully ‘mapped’ in the mathematical classroom. However, it may be possible to ‘simulate’ such activity. Working with mathematical modelling in projects is suggested to simulate workplace activities, which include collaboration and communication between different participants. The modelling problems may for example involve economic and environmental decisions, to prepare students to be critically aware of the use of mathematics in private life and in society, where many decisions are based on mathematical models.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2014. 135 + 1 Appendix p.
Linköping Studies in Behavioural Science, ISSN 1654-2029 ; 181
National Category
Didactics Mathematics
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-103689 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-103689 (DOI)978-91-7519-414-1 (print) (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-02-14, C3, hus C, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 10:15 (English)
Available from: 2014-01-23 Created: 2014-01-23 Last updated: 2014-01-23Bibliographically approved

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Frejd, Peter
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