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Mathematics Professor Receives IBL Grant


Based on a recommendation from the Academy for Inquiry-Based Learning (IBL), the Educational Advancement Foundation (EAF) has awarded a $5,000 grant to Assistant Professor of Mathematics Dr. Audrey Malagon and Virginia Wesleyan College. The funding, awarded on Nov. 27, will be used to redesign the course “Discrete Mathematics” into an IBL format, a method of instruction that places the student, the subject, and their interaction at the center of the learning experience. The redesigned course, “Foundations of Logic and Proof,” will make its debut in the spring 2013 semester and will integrate the learning method into topics such as logic, argument, abstract functions and relations, proofs, induction, sets, and an overall emphasis on mathematical writing. Dr. Malagon submitted the initial proposal for the funding last fall and is thrilled to bring the learning approach to the classroom: “We know that students can watch us do examples and copy them down and maybe even reproduce them on the tests, but they don’t always hold on to that. The Inquiry-Based Learning approach has been much more effective in helping students really own that knowledge and own those skills because they’re discovering it themselves. They’re figuring out how these things work on their own, with carefully designed lessons and guidance from us.”