Use of Maple T.A. at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences increases student pass rate by 20 percent - User Case Studies - Maplesoft

User Case Study: Use of Maple T.A. at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences increases student pass rate by 20 percent

Maplesoft's online testing and assessment tool opens up individual learning paths

Driven by low pass rates in mathematic courses, Hogeschool Van Amsterdam (Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences) decided to change their approach to teaching and learning mathematics. Online learning and digital testing was one key pillar of this approach, and Maple T.A. was the primary tool they chose to implement this change. They saw immediate results with student pass rates in affected courses going up by about 20% within a span of one year.

Maple T.A. was introduced in the (Applied) Computer Science Program, to which students come with different levels of math knowledge. This created some obvious problems. To solve these, the university revamped the first year curriculum to make sure all students reach the same level by the end of the first year. Use of online assignments, homework and tests using Maple T.A. strengthened the program. Results from Maple T.A. were then used to create an individual learning path that was relevant and inspiring for each student.

“Students have different styles of learning, and the pace of study differs from one student to the other,” said College Prof. Robert Meijeringh, MSc. “The use of Maple T.A. gave us the flexibility to teach accordingly, which was very important because students came from different backgrounds with varying levels of knowledge. With the use of Maple T.A., students got the chance to create their own learning path.”

Maple T.A. is an easy-to-use web-based system for creating tests and assignments, and automatically assessing student responses and performance. It supports complex, free-form entry of mathematical equations and intelligent evaluation of responses, making it ideal for science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM), or any course that requires mathematics.

The ability to quickly and easily create questions is what the University staff found most attractive in Maple T.A – the ability to include open-ended questions and the option to generate variations of questions meant that both the staff and students got a lot of flexibility. Parameterization is a key feature in Maple T.A. that provides each student with an individual set of problems, reducing the likelihood that answers will be copied.

The “anytime anywhere” nature of the web-based tool meant that the students could work in their own setting and at their own pace. Students who took the initiative to learn on their own started with the Maple T.A. exercises. The teachers could then easily grade papers and assignments, providing immediate feedback, urging further exploration and study of the topic. Students who needed more structure to their learning were directed by the teachers, supplemented by testing and assessment in Maple T.A.

“The flexibility in learning proved to be a huge motivating factor for students,” continued College Prof. Robert Meijeringh, MSc. “Student satisfaction went up, with feedback indicating that different options for learning and individual support from teachers were highly appreciated. Not only did the data show improvement, but the overall quality of the student experience improved.”

Encouraged by the success of this program, other departments in the University are beginning to adopt the digital testing and learning method. The university is also committed to helping other institutions make use of the power of Maple T.A., by sharing and exchanging question banks and other resources.