University of Illinois at Chicago
Proceedings of the 35th Annual Meeting of the North American Chapter of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education
This paper describes opportunities and challenges teaching assistants (TAs) experience when they provide feedback on mathematical modeling problems. Eight TAs were interviewed regarding issues they experience while working for engineering courses in which about 2000 undergraduates create mathematical models to solve realistic problems and communicate their solutions. The opportunities and challenges are associated with the following factors: the process of providing feedback; TAs’ perspectives of modeling problems; and professional training to learn how to provide effective feedback on students’ solutions to mathematical modeling problems. The specific factors that influence TA’s abilities to provide formative feedback are discussed and the use of a reflective practice that enables students to understand what abilities they gain through mathematical modeling activities is suggested.