materials for MAA MathFest 2018

I will be co-organizing two workshops and giving one individual presentation at MAA MathFest 2018. Please contact me at with any questions!

Workshop: An Introduction to Team-Based Learning

Drew Lewis and Steven Clontz

Participants are encouraged to review the following “readiness preparation materials” (a component of Team-Based Learning), to introduce them to the basic ideas behind Team-Based Learning.

Time estimates calculated using

After the workshop, you may be interested in the following resources:

Workshop: Mathematical Puzzle Programs: Outreach and Recruitment with Puzzles

Braxton Carrigan, Steven Clontz, and PJ Couch

Participants in this workshop will get to play an abbreviated version of the MaPP Challenge competition for themselves. If possible, please bring an iOS or Android smart device with internet access to play along using the ClueKeeper app.

Please visit for more information on Mathematical Puzzle Programs.

Theh puzzles for this workshop are available on our GitHub:

Presentation: Tools to Facilitate Mastery Grading

I will review two web applications I use for mastery grading.

  • sbg-rails
    • This app is being written by myself using Ruby on Rails. Anyone comfortable with running a Ruby on Rails app may clone and install the repo using the GitHub link above.
    • A (buggy) demo is available at It requires a username/password provided at the presentation.
    • The app is designed around two goals:
      • Instructors are given an interface to efficiently log student attempts to master course standards, and produce progress reports based on those attempts.
      • Exams may be custom generated based upon student progress and a problem bank.
    • To enter grades, a spreadsheet-like interface is provided. However, this is still somewhat inconvenient as assessments need to be graded on paper and then re-entered exercise-by-exercise into the app.
  • Gradescope
    • Currently, the Gradescope Basic plan is available for free to the first five instructors from each institution who sign up; later signups get two terms free.
    • Instructors can create and grade arbitrary worksheets using this app.
    • While it’s designed around traditional grading, it can still be used to support a mastery grading classroom.
    • My implementation: use sbg-rails to generate assessments, and students submit answers on sheets that I upload to Gradescope.
      • Answer sheet: PDF
      • Sample responses: PDF
    • By “exporting evaluations”, spreadsheets for each graded standard may be exported from Gradescope and copied/imported into your gradebook of choice. sbg-rails has an import utility for Gradescope reports.