Reviewers & Beta Testers

The Discovering the Art of Mathematics project invites faculty to review and/or classroom beta-test select materials from the Discovering the Art of Mathematics curriculum library. All materials are available on this website. Note that some teacher materials and videos may require registration and login.

Please contact us if you are interested or just send us your feedback via email. Many thanks!

We welcome any feedback about the materials that you may wish to share. Given that all grant funds for beta-testing and review have been allocated at this time, your feedback does not have to be a formal report. Please consider the details below as suggestions. You may answer as many (or as few) as is appropriate for you. We appreciate all the valuable feedback that has helped us improve our books.

Communicating Your Feedback

All feedback you can provide would be appreciated. Please be as honest as you can. We have thick skin.

We would like you to provide feedback in ways that you find most effective and timely. Of particular note:

  • We are happy to communicate via phone and email in real time with beta-testers, hoping to provide support while we get feedback.
  • You may forward to us a marked up copy of the manuscript that you have reviewed/tested. This can be a physical copy returned via U.S. Mail or an electronic version (e.g. a .pdf file with comments added via Adobe Acrobat).
  • Below we have listed some sample questions to give you some sense of what we thought we might learn from reviewers and beta-testers.

Sample Reviewer/Beta-Tester Questions

Volume Information

Please specify the precise volume information (edit date and version number) that you have reviewed/beta-tested. Please precisely describe the chapters/sections that you have reviewed/beta-tested.

Volume Specific Content

Please provide as much feedback as you can on the following areas: organization, tone, level, mathematical concerns, pedagogical suggestions, suggestions for improving coherence, references we should be aware of, alternative approaches, etc.

Please describe what you view as the strengths of the particular volume you reviewed.

Please describe what you view as the weaknesses of the particular volume you reviewed.

If you have any local issues – line by line edits of sections, typesetting and stylistic concerns, or particularly pleasing/grating phrases, author habits, etc. – we would love to hear about them too. You can get these to us in whatever way you find easiest – perhaps simply a photocopy of the manuscript with your scrawls on it.

How You Used the Volume

Please describe the way in which you beta-tested the volume. This could include:

  • Contest information for us: your institution, course number, dates tested, class size, student audience (e.g. major, average SAT score, whether course is a requirement), etc.
  • Your pedagogical approach: what your classroom looked like, your goals, student reactions, successes, drawbacks, etc.

Context for Reviewers & Beta-Testers

The following can help provide context for our work:

  1. Project abstract (PDF) for NSF1225915 awarded 10/1/2013
  2. Project summary (PDF)
  3. Project full proposal (PDF)
  4. Need for project, problems to be addressed, and theoretical basis for initiatives
  5. A classroom vignette which provides a glimpse into our classrooms
  6. Introductory remarks for students in Notes to the Explorer

Please contact us if you have any questions regarding context.

Broad Issues

Briefly describe your level of experience teaching in what are often called inquiry-based or active learning styles.

Briefly describe your level of experience teaching what are commonly called Mathematics for Liberal Arts courses.

One of our goals is for these curriculum materials, the heart of the project, to be based on pedagogy which "is radically student-centered, providing a striking alternative to traditional texts which are generally structured around a lecture dominant mode of teaching." Did you find the materials you reviewed to be "alternative" in this sense? Could you see yourself using these materials to help promote a more active learning pedagogy in mathematics for liberal arts?

Because each of us brings their own pedagogies and experiences to our teaching we have attempted to make these materials "pedagogically flexible," supporting "a continuum of individual teaching styles without compromising the student focus." Did you find these materials to be pedagogically flexible so they could be employed by a broad variety of faculty?

We believe that our materials will help "promote a broad range of meaningful, positive cognitive, meta-cognitive, and affective student gains." In this area, how do you think our materials compare with those you have used in similar courses and/or those that you think are used in Mathematics for Liberal Arts courses more generally?

We have worked to make the content of these materials "engaging, intellectually challenging, and nurtures in-depth explorations of mathematical topics which demonstrate the continuing role of mathematics as a cornerstone of the liberal arts tradition." Have we succeeded in creating materials that Mathematics for Liberal Arts students will find engaging and intellectually challenging? How do you think our materials compare to others that are broadly available? Please explain.

In regard to the liberal arts focus we hoped to "demonstrate the continuing role of mathematics as a cornerstone of the liberal arts tradition" by including: the role of mathematics as an intellectual pursuit, its continuing impact in shaping history, culture, logic, philosophy, and knowledge, its status as humanistic and aesthetic discipline, and its extensive contemporary growth. Have our efforts been successful? Do you have suggestions how they could be more successful?

Overall Project

The National Science Foundation (NSF) requires that successful projects have a high degree of "intellectual merit." Based on your review, do you believe our project meets a sufficiently high degree of intellectual merit? Do you have suggestions for us in this area as we move forward?

Similarly, it is important to the NSF that projects have "broad impact." Do you think our project has the potential to have a broad impact? Do you have suggestions for us in this area as we move forward?