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From 3 February to 15 April 2020, the Korteweg - de Vries Institute for Mathematics (KdVI) organized the e-Winter Course in Mathematics for the very first time; an online course intended for high school pupils and higher education students with a deficiency in maths. Last week, 72 participants obtained their certificate.

Making certificates at home
The certificates, too, were printed and stamped at home by the course coordinator. Photo: Tiny Dekker

Demand for an online Mathematics course

To meet a demand of high school students and students in applied higher education ('HBO') to have an online mathematics course in the winter period, lecturers Andre Heck, Marthe Schut and Gideon Jager digitised the traditional course materials of the annual, in-class, summer course and added an online forum as well as chat sessions for support and guidance.

Success rate more than doubled

The number of registrations was overwhelming; nearly 120 participants started the course in February, while KdVI expected to receive only about 50 registrations. The participants appeared to have a high degree of independence; the forum was well visited, but the chat sessions were rarely used. The online exam took place last week, with 72 participants passing. This is more than double the success rate we traditionally see with the exam in April, for which participants could only prepare via unsupported self-study up until this year.

Enthusiastic response

Participants were enthusiastic about the course and the way in which the organising team, consisting of the aforementioned teachers and secretary Tiny Dekker, dealt with all extra measures that had to be taken to condust the online exam during the corona crisis. This is evident from the following testimonials:

  • It is a top course and I will definitely recommend it to my friends!
  • I would like to thank the teaching staff for this course! This course allows me to do the Master's programme I had in mind.
  • The course has meant more to me than just getting a certificate. I now know for sure that I want to go back to university, and how to go about it.
  • I think the digital learning environment in combination with the syllabus worked perfectly. I want to thank you for the good teaching method, but especially the clear communication in these covid-19 times!