What is Active Math?
Active Math is a set of Interactive Tests that Teach the basic operations of mathematics. Written for Windows, Active Math can be used at home for math practice, or at school as an efficient assessment tool. Applying Microsoft Data Access technology, Active Math can store data on your local hard drive or on a school file server.
Why is Active Math good for teachers?
Active Math was developed at the University of Western Australia Graduate SChool of Education as part of a doctoral research project. While the focus of the research was on Education Psychometrics, Active Math was developed in collaboration with the WA Department of Education and Technology and was crafted to mesh well with the WA school curriculum.
On the practical side, Active Math makes marking easy. The software:
- Records the names of the students who take the tests;
- Records their age on the day they take the test;
- Records every question in every test;
- Records which items are answered correctly and which are answered incorrectly;
- Allocates student outcome levels according to the difficulty and content of the items answered correctly.
Why is Active Math good for students?
The Active Math makes learning fun. It reinforces understanding with positive feedback and maintains interest by matching item difficulty with student ability. The Active Math CD maintains student confidence by offering a lesson after any error.
Why is Active Math good for parents?
Active Math is a self paced, systematic learning and assessment tool. It provides students with the basic skills they need to master the broader math curriculum.
The software provides constant feedback on student performance and outcome levels, and it stores student performance information in a database on your home computer.
Active Math 2001 is the third edition of a product which began as Active Arithmetic for the Mac in 1993. Focussing on the four core areas of arithmetic, this product was developed as part of a doctoral research project at the University of Western Australia. It was designed as a systematic, reliable and culture fair instrument for the cross cultural assessment of number skills. As an academic research tool, Active Arithmetic worked well, but it was not very user friendly, and its focus was narrow.
Active Math for Windows, developed during the year 2000, was the first conversion of the academic research tool into an application for schools. It was developed in Western Australia for Western Australian primary schools. It covered the Calculate and Understanding Numbers sub-strand of the Number strand of the Western Australian math curriculum.
Active Math 2001 was released in February 2001. It covers the whole of the Number strand of the Western Australian math curriculum, and includes twenty five different student activities. It estimates student outcome levels and generates student outcome statements, on the basis of student achievement in the various activities.
Active Math 2001 was written in Visual Basic 6, using Microsoft Active Data Object (ADO) technology. It stores student performance data in an MS Jet (Access) database. The database can be located on a local hard drive for single users, or it can be located on a remote file server and shared by many users.
Current Product Development
The Active Math CD remains a handy tool for home use, but its functionality is gradually being replaced by the web-based version: Active Math Java.
Active Math Java
The picture below is a screenshot of Active Math Java. Click anywhere on the picture to have a go.