Recently, in The Conversation, the Vice Chancellor of Monash University, wrote an article discussing MOOCs. He made some criticisms about the nature of assessment and grading that MOOCs offer. However, my attention was grabbed by two sentences:
The other major problem the MOOCs haven’t solved is assessment. They work very well for subjects like maths, which have objectively right and wrong answers, and can therefore be pretty easily marked by computers.
Now, here we have the Vice Chancellor of one of Australia’s leading universities – and indeed, one of the world’s leading universities (and incidently the University where I did both my Masters and my PhD) demonstrating an extraordinary lack of understanding about the fundamental nature of mathematics. He seems to think that mathematics is all about teaching students (in the fine words of John Power from Leeds University) about “finding ‘x'”. I suppose he thinks this…
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