Teaching & Learning Lab

Good practices

Knowledge clips for Mathematics D Online

Wiskunde D Online In this article, University Lecturer Rogier Bos discusses Mathematics D Online, a program to follow mathematics D in blended form. How did that come about? Which facilities of the Teaching & Learning Lab (TLL) were used for this, and does he have any tips for teachers on how to make knowledge clips?

Why Math D Online?

“Mathematics D Online is an initiative for schools that are not in a position to teach Mathematics D, because the small number of pupils makes the course too expensive. Mathematics D Online offers a form of blended education in which the number of contact hours in class is reduced to one hour per week, with students of various ages together in one group. This makes it affordable for schools, resulting in a return to the schools for the course. Participation in the program is possible for up to ten students per school, per year.” Rogier’s ultimate goal – and that of the Mathematics D Online Foundation – is that the interest in the subject grows so that it can be taught again in a regular way and the online variant of Mathematics D becomes redundant. About 650 VWO and 50 HAVO students are currently participating in the online variant.

The set-up

Wiskunde D Online filmpje

“Mathematics D Online comprises the following: (1) online videos with instruction, animations to enthuse students about a subject, and videos in which assignments are discussed; (2) a freely accessible method: the Wageningen Method for VWO and Math4All for HAVO; (3) a lesson plan in blocks of four weeks; (4) hand-in assignments: every week students submit one or two assignments digitally. These are checked by student assistants who have been appointed via the professional support centers of the universities involved (for VWO) and through the teacher training programs of two universities of applied sciences (for HAVO); (5) one contact hour at school once a week. Teachers then help students individually, and some also provide additional classroom explanations.

Trial tests and school exams are also offered via Mathematics D Online. However, the lecturers remain responsible for offering test opportunities and for reviewing.”

TLL studio crucial for Mathematics D Online

“A significant portion of the videos are recorded in the TLL Studio using the lightboard. The studio operator, Fridolin van der Lecq, and his interns play an important role as recording technicians and post-processors. We use the lightboard to make videos about theory and videos in which we work out assignments. This is effective because you can keep a nice pace with the lightboard, just like with a white or blackboard. Students will see the math appear from underneath your pen, which is perhaps best described as a constructive experience. Because the teachers write themselves, they are forced to reproduce the mathematics on the spot. This ensures a pleasant, non-intimidating pace for the students. ”

What is the added value of the TLL studio?

 “The collaboration with the studio technicians improves the quality of the video and saves you a lot of work. It is a professional studio environment in which great importance is attached to the quality of sound and image. You create material which presents itself well to others.

I enjoy recording videos and it is a rewarding job to do. It is rewarding, because a group of students can immediately watch your videos. Also outside of Mathematics D Online, some videos attract attention, such as the videos about statistics. I am a real teacher and love to explain math. The nice thing about a video is that this explanation is not temporary, but will last for years.”

A true voyage of discovery

“It is precisely because you record your explanation that you become much more critical. When you see yourself, you realize every time that there are points of improvement: in approach, structure, wording, tempo, didactics, energy, you name it. I also make a lot of animations for Mathematics D Online. That is a true voyage of discovery, in which I discover new technical possibilities every time: with PowerPoint, with GeoGebra and with Adobe Premiere Pro. Here too, looking back at what you have made, there will always be points for improvement.”

Tips for teachers

“I heartily recommend the TLL studio to teachers. And do not use it just once, but immediately plan a series of ten videos. You have to allow yourself time to get used to it. The first recordings will certainly not be as good as the later ones.

I mentioned above how the recordings can contribute to your own personal development, but perhaps more importantly, the pupils (or students) like to use video material from their own teacher. For my mathematics courses for first-year chemistry and first-year Molecular Life Sciences students, I made videos explaining the concepts and procedures of those courses. I have had many positive reactions to that. Students like to look back at an explanation or a detailed example of the lecture when doing their homework or preparing for the exam.

If you are going to use the lightboard: make a board plan. Practice your video in advance on a regular white or blackboard. Be energetic in front of the camera and keep up the pace. Tension arcs are even shorter online than in the classroom / lecture hall. Act as you would in front of the group, as if the group were behind the camera.”

More information

About Rogier Bos

Rogier Bos studied mathematics and holds a PhD in mathematical physics. Subsequently, he worked for eight years at the grammar school Christelijk Gymnasium Utrecht as a mathematics teacher. In that period he also worked at the mathematics teacher training at Hogeschool Utrecht and at U-Talent (the VO-HO network of Utrecht). He has now been working as an assistant professor of mathematics education at the Freudenthal Institute for four years. In addition, he is active in various activities to promote mathematics education (Mathematics B-day, Erasmus + MERIA, Erasmus + TIME, mathematics teacher magazine Euclides).


Translation: Mark Uwland (Freudenthal Institute)