February 2011 – eXpresser milestone release

The latest milestone release (migensystem-1-8479b available as a zip file from our google code repository) contains significant changes from the December release.

The main change is an attempt to reduce the space occupied by the General Model by including it in the Activity Document. In specific tasks this means that it can be included above or below the task presentation. In all other cases, users can construct their own Activity Documents.

This change also affects the way the students’ work area can be presented. It now includes the “Play Button” as well and therefore students can check the generality of their models directly in their working area. Other implications of this change include:

  • the General Model can be resized and/or zoomed accordingly
  • values of unlocked numbers are shown in the General Model as soon as they are unlocked (the window displays unnamed unlocked numbers and named unlocked numbers separately)
  • the Model Rule appears in an equation in the General Model and named unlocked numbers appear simply as their names.

Because of these significant pages we wrote more detailed descriptions in the Using MiGen pages (note also a new video from the MiGen team “Learn eXpresser in less than 5 minutes“ that introduces eXpresser and incorporates the changes to the ‘General Model’ mentioned above).

You feedback and ideas for future versions are welcome.

Other changes include the following:

  • users can change tasks without closing eXpresser
  • documents/pages can also be saved and loaded without closing eXpresser

There are also a lot of change in the teacher tools

  • classroom dynamics tool, grouping tool, student tracker, goal achievement

These were demonstrated at a PGCE session at the Institute of Education.


November 2010 – news

Best PhD student paper

The paper “Adaptive Modelling of Users’ Strategies in Exploratory Learning Using Case-Based Reasoning” by M. Cocea, S. Gutierrez-Santos and G.D. Magoulas, which describes work done in the context of the MiGen project, won the best PhD student paper award at the 14th International Conference on Knowledge-Based and Intelligent Information & Engineering Systems (KES 2010), Cardiff, Wales, UK, 8-10 September 2010.

CERME Distinguished Lecturer Series

As part of the Centre for Research in Mathematics and Science Education’s Distinguished Lecturer Series,  Richard Noss and Celia Hoyles represented the MiGen team and presented on ‘Mathematics at Work: A Need for New Mathematical Literacies” at the University of San Diego.

MiGen r7195 milestone release

The latest milestone release (r7195 – available as a zip file from our google code repository)  includes the following changes:

  • Pre-defined activities for learning eXpresser progressively (feel free to contact us for activity manuals lesson plans). If you want to play with eXpresser without a certain activity choose the Default one from the drop down menu.
  • A full-fledged activitity (called TrainTrack) that asks for students to make a model, reflect on their goals, and share their model and rules with other students. The system also demonstrates the design of intelligent support that can be provided for these activities

Since summer we have been working a lot on the internal architecture of the system, so not a lot of visible changes in eXpresser apart from:

  • The design of the negative tiles has now changed to Removable Patterns. All patterns can now be either added or removed to the canvas thus allowing the creation of complex patterns with overlaps
  • Several bugs were fixed. In particular patterns of patterns now behave more consistently both in “My Model” and the “General Model”
  • As always some bugs were fixed – but feel free to report anything you find

This release also comes with a server and teacher tools but these are still experimental. Feel free to contact us for more info.

December newsletter

The MiGen team attended a Teaching and Learning Research Programme – Technology Enhanced Learning (TLRP-TEL)  Show & Tell event at Durham where they presented an update on the project with information on its future trajectory as it is entering its third and final year.

On Wednesday, 25th of November, the MiGen team had its 6th Practitioners Advisory Group Meeting. Several maths teachers, mathematics education consultants, teacher educators and researchers participated. They provided the team with valuable feedback. The next such meeting should be taking place in spring 2010.

The latest milestone release can be found on the MiGen website at https://migenproject.wordpress.com/2009/12/03/expresser-milestone-release/.  This was released immediately after the 6th Practitioners’ Advisory Meeting.  The team are now working on improving this based on user feedback, while thinking about v2 of eXpresser.


Earlier this month, Richard Noss gave a keynote presentation on MiGen in Brazil at the Uniban of Sao Paulo’s Graduate Mathematics Education Programme.  He also did two lectures at the University of Rio Claro.

Celia Hoyles also presented a series of five lectures, one of which was about MiGen, at the Uniban, Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The following paper was presented on 15th December 2009 at the 14th UK Workshop on Case-based Reasoning (in conjunction with AI-2009 Twenty-ninth SGAI International Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Cambridge, England 15-17 December 2009):

Cocea, M., Gutierrez-Santos, S., Magoulas, G. D.: Enhancing Modelling of Users’ Strategies in Exploratory Learning through Case-base Maintenance

The following paper was presented at the BSLRM conference at Loughborough University on 14th November 2009:

Geraniou, E., Mavrikis, M., Hoyles, C. & Noss, R. (2009). Design Decisions: A Microworld for Mathematical Generalisation. In M. Joubert (ed.) Proceedings of the British Society for Research into Learning Mathematics 29(3). Available at www.bsrlm.org.uk.