A technique for delivering individualised formative problems and examples
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Active learning plays a strong role in mathematics and statistics, and formative problems are vital for developing key problem-solving skills. To keep students engaged and help them master the fundamentals before challenging themselves further, we have developed a system for delivering problems tailored to a student‟s current level of understanding. Specifically, by adapting simple methodology from clinical trials, a framework for delivering existing problems and other illustrative material has been developed, making use of macros in Excel. The problems are assigned a level of difficulty (a „dose‟), and problems are presented to the student in an order depending on their ability, i.e. based on their performance so far on other problems. We demonstrate and discuss the application of the approach with formative examples developed for a first year course on plane coordinate geometry, and also for problems centred on the topic of chi-square tests.