Researchers: Prof. Michal Yerushalmy and Dr. Shai Olsher
The Mathematics Education Research and Innovation Center (MERI), headed by Prof. Michal Yerushalmy, is dedicated to exploring how technology can help improve mathematics education - through novel ways of learning and teaching. MERI’s research team explores the roles of technology in this process, striving to understand how technology relates to broader educational factors.
The research team at MERI invests extensive resources into innovating technologies that support mathematics education for teachers and students in schools and universities.
Advancing Technology for Mathematics Education
The research team has developed STEP - Seeing The Entire Picture, an automatic formative assessment platform in mathematics that helps teachers and students make use of rich and interactive assignments in the classroom in order to empower the teacher’s decision making in real time – during the actual course of the lesson.
The STEP platform is implemented with the use of personal devices (mobile phones, tablets, laptops, personal computers) and provides the teacher with an automatic and accessible analysis of the students’ answers to mathematics exercises. The processed data includes an automated analysis of different mathematical and didactical aspects. This allows the teacher to base teaching on the students’ answers.
Through the STEP platform, teachers can prepare assignments that encourage the students to meaningfully engage with mathematics, immediately see each of the students’ work and receive visual analyses of their solutions. Beyond providing a correct/incorrect overview for each student’s work and locating familiar mistakes through predetermined criteria, STEP also analyzes the student’s working methods, so that even partial solutions submitted by the student are used to present recommended work methods and illuminate creative and diverse answers for the same assignment.
The visual representation of data for the teacher is provided in an easily accessible interface, so that the teacher is able to make decisions based on information from a student’s work – empowering formative assessment par excellence.
The student’s accessible working environment with STEP allows independent work, in couples or in groups on mathematical assignments, which include various demonstrational means. The student’s working environment is private, enabling the system to analyze only answers submitted, encouraging creative and independent thinking, which can only exist in a free and private environment.
Big Data for Pedagogic Analysis:
STEP data enables analysis and representation of evolving OER (open educational resources) as well as student mathematical comprehension, achievement and learning at the level of classroom, school and district, while protecting student privacy.
The STEP system is currently being tested in universities and school systems in the US, Italy and China.
Thanks to generous funding from the Trump foundation, the system is also being implemented in Israel in numerous school systems and with the collaboration of several secondary school teachers. The grant enables implementation with 150 practicing teachers and preservice student-teachers in universities and colleges.
In addition, the STEP system is being used at MERI as a learning and research environment, to further examine how technology can improve education – and especially mathematics education – through new avenues of instruction and learning.
MERI is currently seeking partnerships to:
• Advance evaluation of the product for school systems
• Design content suitable for specific systems and countries
• Open and support European educational markets
Michal Yerushalmy, Prof.- researcher page