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Peggy Mitchell Beauregard

Department: Mathematics, A&S

Title of Project: M116 Contemporary Mathematics OER for Graph Theory

Description of the project: To adapt OER in graph theory (discrete math) to be used as a unit in M116 Contemporary Mathematics. This course is taught to non-STEM majors (mostly Art and Hartt students).

Challenges of the project (and modifications made to original proposal as a result of challenges): I found very little material on discrete topics (and graph theory) that is level-appropriate for M116. Many resources used more complicated mathematics than I wanted to incorporate in a class for non-STEM majors. Others had videos that were just too long and boring. I had some trouble discerning what materials I could use and what had more restrictive licenses.  (Jillian Maynard helped me with this!)  My project started as a project in game theory, but it was too complicated, so I switched to graph theory.  My original thought was to use the material I found as intact as I could, but nothing was perfect, so my adapt project turned out to be an adopt/adapt/create project. 

Sources you used, and how did you find them? Jillian Maynard was immensely helpful in sending me resources to consider.  She sent both resources below, although I found the second one myself, as well, while doing a search. When searching, I picked keywords that I thought would be helpful:  discrete mathematics, graph theory, Hamilton, Euler, trees, high school discrete topics, liberal arts mathematics, etc.  Of the resources below, one chapter of each was relevant to my project.

  • College Mathematics for Everyday Life, Kathryn Kozak et al (Coconino Community College), chapter 6-Graph Theory
  • Math in Society, David Lippman

Please describe your “final” product or progress towards your goal.  (How will it be used? Under what licenses will you publish?)  My working project (never final, right??) is a set of slides that I have written that M116 instructors at UHart can use in coordination with the chapters of the OER textbooks above to teach graph theory.  There are four sets of slides which cover four different sections of graph theory that we traditionally teach in M116.  These make up one unit, or a little more than one fourth (5 weeks) of the course.  They are:

  • Graph Theory and Management Science
  • Fleury’s Algorithm and Eulerizing
  • Hamilton Graphs and Traveling Salesperson Problems
  • Networks and Spanning Trees

I will publish these under the licenses CC-BY-SA 4.0. Anyone will be able to use these slides alone or in coordination with the resources I used (above).

Please share your thoughts about OER.  Strengths? Weaknesses?  Would you adopt/adapt/create more OER in the future? In theory, I love OER. To be able to build and share content with other educators around the world is exciting.  Collaborating on content that is improved as it is shared and modified by others is the most important goal of OER to me. It is a great way to gain insight, expand my own repertoire of examples and lessons and communicate. OER would help me grow, professionally.

Writing M116 completely as an OER course is challenging for many reasons. There is not a lot of OER content from which to draw, so I spent a lot of time constructing graphics, etc.  Also, M116 at U of H is taught largely by adjuncts, so we need to have a more complete package to hand them so that they can step into the course and teach it readily.  The benefit of a textbook from a publisher is that it comes with so many supporting resources. OER implementation would be better for a course with more traditional content which is easier to find online. 

I am developing a course for Hillyer, MAB 118 Mathematics for Elementary Teachers.  I will be exploring OER content to use for that course and anticipate there is more readily available material that will be easy to implement/adapt/adopt.