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ERIC Number: ED523870
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Dec
Pages: 70
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Evaluation of "Maths by Email." Final Report
Kissane, Barry; McConney, Andrew
Online Submission
"Maths by Email" (MbE) is a free fortnightly email newsletter produced through a partnership between CSIRO Education and the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI), with funding from the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR). The principal aim of MbE has been "to communicate that mathematics is making a valuable contribution to the community, is relevant, beautiful, interesting and enjoyable and provides many employment opportunities." This evaluation study was commissioned by CSIRO Education to provide independent feedback to the editors and publisher of the "Maths by Email" (MbE) initiative to potentially improve the service and to inform decision making regarding future plans for the service. In detail, the study was concerned with (i) who is using MbE and how it is being used; (ii) the extent to which MbE is meeting its stated aims; (iii) the effectiveness of the various components of MbE newsletters; (iv) the delivery mechanism; and, (v) possible improvements to the newsletter. The evaluation methodology comprised two online subscriber surveys and document analysis and written feedback from the evaluation team on successive issues of the newsletter. An initial survey in May 2010 attracted 586 respondents, self-identified as teachers, parents and students, across upper primary, lower secondary and senior secondary levels of schooling. The survey data suggested generally high levels of satisfaction by respondents. A second survey 6 months later obtained more detailed information regarding the perceived effects of the newsletter on subscriber views, identified as the principal aim of "Maths by Email." This second survey attracted 902 responses, with a good spread across categories such as levels of school interest and from teachers, parents and students. Teachers comprised around half the respondents. Responses were similar to those in the first survey, and the same high levels of satisfaction with the newsletter and its various components were reported. As in the initial survey, around 95% of respondents reported that they would recommend a subscription for "Maths by Email" to others. The analysis of perceived effects of the newsletter on attitudes towards mathematics suggested that large proportions of readers reported positive changes towards the relevance and beauty of mathematics, interest in mathematics and careers related to mathematics. Detailed analyses of written responses to open survey question explored the ways in which teachers use the newsletter and materials successfully with students and colleagues as well as subscriber advice for further refinements and improvements. "Maths by Email" Online Survey is appended. (Contains 18 tables and 32 figures.) [This report was produced by the Centre for Learning, Change and Development, Murdoch University.]
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia