Grants:Project/Eventmath/Timeline

Project Grants This project is funded by a Project Grant

proposal

timeline & progress




JuneEdit

  1. Created Project Management Document
    1. We chose to use a Google Doc to organize tasks and keep records, since Google Docs is free, it’s easy to use, and it integrates with other collaborative software we need (e.g. spreadsheets and cloud storage software).
    2. We divided up the grant activities into discrete tasks and listed them by approximate start date in an Activities Schedule within the Google Doc. To ensure we can easily see and rearrange tasks, we designed the list so that each entry fits on one line and includes a task description, as well as color-coded tags for the task owner, the completion status, and the deadline. Using the bookmarks feature, we linked these entries to more complete descriptions in a separate section of the document.
    3. We included an Activities Log. Once a task is completed, we log it in a table organized by month and by theme (as outlined in Project Plan: Activities in the grant proposal). This way, we are able to coordinate our ongoing activities while simultaneously preparing the monthly report.
    4. We created a Timesheet using Google Sheets and linked to it from the project management document. This sheet has a row for each activity theme, and a set of columns for each grantee: estimated total hours, actual hours spent, and hours remaining. We populated it with an initial allocation of budgeted hours, according to our individual skill sets, and we programmed it to calculate hours remaining automatically.
  2. Developed Contact List
    1. We designed a Google Sheet with separate tabs for individuals, organizations, events, and press outlets to organize and track our outreach efforts; we then linked to this contact list from our main project management document.
    2. We extended the list of potential contacts that we provided in the proposal.
  3. Earned Exciting Speaking Slot!
    1. We applied to give a 15-minute talk at the upcoming MAA MathFest conference, August 4-7 (online), and we are very excited to say that we were accepted! We will be presenting in the contributed paper session Insights into Quantitative Literacy and Reasoning from the COVID-19 Pandemic.” This session is sponsored by a special interest group of the Mathematical Association of America that consists of dedicated math educators who are specifically interested in finding new ways to teach quantitative literacy.
    2. We titled our presentation “Eventmath: An Open-access, Community-built Repository Pairing Current Events and Math Lessons”.
  4. Published Portal on Wikiversity
    1. We created an initial skeleton of the Eventmath portal. As this is a work in progress, it is subject to change, and we may move the portal into the main namespace.
    2. We planned a new tabbed interface, similar to that of Wikipedia’s WikiProject Mathematics, with the following tabs: Intro, Entries, Guidelines, Assessment, Tasks, Research, References, Contributors, and Discussion. If we opt to switch to this new information architecture, each tab will be a separate page with its own URL; in our case, we expect separate URLs would improve the experience for users who find Eventmath through a web search.

JulyEdit

  1. Prepared MathFest Talk
    1. We chose to use Google Slides since they are free to use; they can be easily published to the web; they support real-time, remote collaboration; and they integrate with the other collaborative software tools we’re using from Google Workspace.
    2. We designed the talk around the following questions:
      1. Why is teaching numeracy challenging?
      2. What resources address these challenges?
      3. What value does Eventmath add?
      4. What value can you add?
    3. We used principles from marketing, cognitive load theory, and the cognitive theory of multimedia learning. We’ll share a few of these principles here, in case it helps others who are planning a similar presentation.
      1. We used high-contrast colors and large font sizes to improve legibility.
      2. We included images and kept textual cues very brief in order to prevent the redundancy effect.
      3. We eliminated information that we did not plan to speak about directly, and we used animated transitions to introduce new points incrementally, in order to mitigate the split-attention effect.
      4. We placed labels as close to the objects being labeled as possible, according to the spatial contiguity principle.
      5. We learned as much as we could about the organization that hosted the talk, and we were able to address their specific concerns with a slide addressing goals from their organizational charter.
      6. We provided a single, clear call to action at the end of the talk, and this call to action was motivated by all the previous content. Specifically, we directed interested attendees to fill out an online form during the last several minutes of our talk. Since the talk was given virtually, an online form was the ideal way to build up the Eventmath community: everyone in attendance was already interacting with us through a web browser, so we only needed to share a link in the text chat area of the conference software.
    4. We published the slides in presentation mode (this allows a viewer to advance through the animations and slides using the arrow keys on a keyboard), as well as a PDF version of the slides without animations.
  2. Created Online Contributor Form
    1. We took advantage of the simplicity of Google Forms and kept our form as brief as possible, to reduce any friction that potential respondents might experience.
    2. We linked the Google Form to a spreadsheet containing our existing contact list, so that submissions would be automatically recorded there, which frees up time from our budget.
    3. We informed respondents that we’ll use the provided email addresses to keep them updated on Eventmath. Once we have an on-wiki mailing list set up, we will invite them to join that list.
  3. Promoted and Delivered MathFest Talk
    1. We promoted our MathFest talk on Twitter (for example, in this tweet) and shared the slides (in this tweet) after giving the talk.
    2. We received Google Form submissions from twelve educators at twelve different academic institutions across the US, from California to New York!
  4. Collected Data from Form Respondents
    1. We are excited to report that 100% of respondents would like to use Eventmath lessons, and two out of three would like to contribute to lessons!
    2. Here is the percentage of respondents who would like to...
      1. contribute whole lessons or improve existing lessons: 67%.
      2. use Eventmath lessons in the classroom: 100%.
      3. add lesson feedback or endorsements based on classroom experience: 67%.
      4. assess lesson quality (peer review): 42%.
      5. update lesson guidelines based on education research: 8%.
      6. help with educator outreach: 8%.
    3. Note: One respondent selected “Other” and indicated they are interested in every type of contribution, but not until 2022. All data above have been adjusted so that this respondent’s interest in each type of contribution is counted.
  5. Crafted Outreach Message
    1. Following our talk, we were asked to share our Google Form with the mailing lists for two important organizations identified in our proposal: the National Numeracy Network and the SIGMAA (special interest group of the Mathematical Association of America) for Quantitative Literacy.
    2. Since these groups belong to our exact target audience, we carefully crafted an outreach message to send them. We will post this message to the mailing lists at a suitable time, in order to maximize engagement.

AugustEdit

  1. Sent Outreach Messages to Relevant Organizations
    1. We shared the outreach message described in our July report with the user forum of the SIGMAA-QL (Mathematical Association of America - Special Interest Group in Quantitative Literacy).
      1. In addition to the twelve new community members who filled out our Google Form after our MathFest talk, six more educators filled it out after posting to the SIGMAA-QL.
      2. The eighteen new community members come from eighteen different academic institutions, and we continue to have 100% of respondents interested in using Eventmath lessons in the classroom. (The form shows seventeen out of eighteen would use the lessons, but this is due to a data anomaly described in our July report.)
    2. Brendan joined the National Numeracy Network and is awaiting further details from one of their officers about contacting their mailing list.
  2. Started New Portal in Main Wikiversity Namespace
    1. Following guidance by our Wikiversity advisors (Guy_vandegrift and Dave_Braunschweig), we decided to create an Eventmath page in the main Wikiversity namespace. This will give the site a shorter, more human-friendly URL with the keyword “Eventmath” appearing closer to the beginning, all of which should increase the likelihood of users finding the page.
    2. We created a tabbed interface for this new portal, roughly following the interface of Wikipedia:WikiProject Mathematics.
    3. We developed a template for Eventmath tabs and transcluded it into the tabbed pages, so that changing the tab design across all tabbed pages only requires a single change in the template.
  3. Researched Design Guidelines and Crafted New Site Structure
    1. We adjusted tab design according to best practices for tabbed interfaces, e.g. as described by the Nielsen Norman Group.
      1. We were careful to avoid using too many tabs.
      2. We arranged the tabs in a logical order, prioritizing tabs aimed at new participants.
      3. We chose concise, descriptive labels that were as inclusive as possible (for example, instead of a “Contributors” tab, we have a “Participants” tab).
      4. We regrouped content to make it easier for visitors to find what they care about (for example, we replaced “References” and “Research” with “Resources” and “Impact”).
    2. We included brief descriptions of the content that will appear under each tab.
    3. We began developing the aesthetic aspects of our design, but these are not yet fully implemented.
  4. Reached Out to Advisors to Set Up First Meeting
    1. We contacted our advisors on Wikiversity to set up a meeting, now that we’re developing the main Wikiversity content. We will discuss such issues as the use of subpages for pages in the main namespace.
    2. We decided that we will include meeting minutes in our monthly reports, subject to permission from our advisors to report on their guidance.
  5. Engaged with Our Target Audience on Twitter
    1. We published a thread about Eventmath updates.
    2. We followed up with a potential contributor.
    3. We shared news suitable for an Eventmath entry, and learned a valuable lesson: always remember to include the #Eventmath hashtag!

SeptemberEdit

  1. Promoted to Organizations and on Social Media
    1. Brendan joined the National Numeracy Network. They have helpful resources and events about quantitative literacy.
    2. Through their mailing list, we shared an outreach message (the same as we shared previously with the MAA Special Interest Group on Quantitative Literacy) and this resulted in five new form sign-ups.
    3. Greg shared about Eventmath on Twitter.
  2. Discussed Ideas with Wikiversity Advisors
    1. We changed the mode of communication from synchronous video calls to asynchronous written discussion on the Eventmath discussion tab, at the suggestion of our Wikiversity advisors. As a result, no meeting minutes are posted here.
    2. Our Wikiversity advisors both commented on the colors of the tab labels; however, custom colors are not currently supported through any parameters in the template we’re using. We discussed the issue, and it remains a work in progress. Solving this will allow us to have accessible color contrast while maintaining a consistent aesthetic design so that visitors know they’re in the correct place.
    3. Discussion with our advisors also led one of the advisors to fill out our Google Form for notifications about upcoming workshops, for a total of six new form sign-ups this month (including the five from the National Numeracy Network).
  3. Improved Site Design
    1. We discussed and improved the information architecture. This included combining the Guidelines and Assessment tabs, as well as the Tasks and Resources tabs. Fewer tabs should reduce cognitive load and result in a better user experience.
    2. We developed a more descriptive label and page title (and therefore URL) for the tab containing the lesson plan directory. We expect the new title (“Lesson plans” instead of “Entries”) will help new users find our content through search engines and will help them find what they’re looking for once they visit (both of which are part of our portal goal).
    3. We decided to rename the Guidelines page. It is now the Contributing page. We feel this is an important change, as the new name is not only more accurate, but also more welcoming. Since the page title shows as a tab label in the main navigation, it also serves as a prominent cue to new visitors that Evenmath is a living resource, always open to new contributions.
    4. We successfully moved/renamed the Guidelines page to become the Contributing page. We used this Wikimedia Help page to learn how to do this and now understand the process, which will be helpful in the future as we and other users contribute new pages.
    5. We switched headings and tab labels from title case to sentence case, to be consistent with the capitalization conventions used for page titles.
    6. We performed mobile device testing of the new tabbed interface.
    7. We decided we would like to do user testing during the workshops to assess our design choices.
  4. Adapted Materials to Wikiversity
    1. We developed the Participants tab, based on the Community Members section of the original Eventmath template. In adapting that material, we refined the suggested information and added a section about Wikiversity user pages.
    2. We developed, published, and revised our tips for good lesson plan titles. Since this guidance leads contributors through the crucial first step of creating a new page, it’s arguably the most important copy on all of Eventmath! Moreover, since the title goes into the URL, it cannot be changed later without moving the page. So, we were careful to make the guidance as clear and simple as possible.
    3. We added more information for users about required and optional content for lesson plans, and other general guidelines. Along with the section on naming lesson plans, this forms the core set of instructions new users will follow as they create content for the site. We will keep the new-user experience in mind as we refine these guidelines.
  5. Made Plans for Future Site Improvements
    1. We found code needed to implement a search box and determined how to restrict search to lesson plans by letting them be subpages of the Lesson plans tab, which is also helpful for SEO.
    2. We learned about template development in general, which will help with various aspects of site development.
    3. We studied the InputBox extension, which will allow us to create custom search boxes and page creation boxes. The page creation boxes will make creating a lesson plan with preloaded sections and markup as easy as clicking a button.
    4. We began designing the user workflow as part of the Contributing page, so that we can test it by publishing our existing example lesson plans according to that same workflow.

OctoberEdit

NovemberEdit

DecemberEdit

JanuaryEdit

FebruaryEdit

MarchEdit

AprilEdit

MayEdit

Is your final report due but you need more time?