Open Pedagogy in Course Design for Art of Mathematics Course




Musolino, Larry

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At Penn State University, ART197 (Art of Mathematics) is a recently developed General Education course that asks students to explore and investigate the intersection of mathematics and art, music, dance, nature, architecture, and other fields. The course is intended to counteract negative perceptions about mathematics and illustrate the beauty and elegance of mathematics in diverse fields.

As part of the course design, students are asked to explore new connections in mathematics and art and generate their own new knowledge which has not been published or documented to date. The students conduct their own research on a topic of interest and use this new knowledge to edit, revise, and update appropriate Wikipedia pages with their new knowledge, including citations and references.

The proposal will demonstrate how to engage and motivate students in active learning aimed at the development and creation of this new student knowledge. The examples used will be focused on synergies between art and mathematics

In this talk, I will review this aspect of the design of this student open pedagogy initiative which engages students and converts the course from teacher-centric to learner-centric focus. In particular, I will discuss the research methods used by students, the creation process, the editing process, and finally the publishing aspect of Wikipedia. Students use various technology tools such as visual editors and tools to tools to include images, links, and other dynamic content. The presentation will also review various technologies available to any faculty interested in including student Wikipedia-related editing and authorship in their courses.

Feedback from students has been extremely positive. Students have indicated that the course activities expanded their knowledge outside of a traditional textbook and engaged the students as active parts of the learning center. The course was switched from a teacher-centric focus to a learner-centric focus.

If possible, I would like to conduct several polls during the session to engage and ask attendees if they use active learning components in their courses if they have any examples of open pedagogy where students generate their own new knowledge, and if any faculty have used Wikipedia authorship as part of course assessments.