Gunnar Stefánsson, professor at the University of Iceland’s Faculty of Physical Sciences, recently returned from Kenya where he presented the tutor-web, an open learning (freeware) system for mathematics and statistics, at two universities. The latest version of the system no longer requires constant connection to the internet to complete assignments, as reported on hi.is.
The assignments are not exams but are used as learning material. Once each exercise has been completed the students is notified immediately whether her/his solution was the correct one; and if not, the correct solution is given with explanations.
Gunnar developed the system with his colleague and former doctoral student, Anna Helga Jónsdóttir, adjunct at the Faculty of Physical Sciences, from an idea born 15 years ago. “At that time my students frequently copied each other’s assignments and I sometimes received seven answers all with the same little mistake. Furthermore, teachers were creating their material each in their own corner,” Gunnar says, adding that he sought collaboration abroad early but mostly received responses from the developing world, including Kenya after he met a teacher from a university in the country at a conference in Spain. Following the trip, several universities in Kenya will implement the system.
Next on the agenda is to better introduce the system to college teachers and train them in using the system, he says.