Non-traditional assessments to match creative instruction in undergraduate mathematics courses

Mika Munakata, Ceire Monahan, Erin Krupa, Ashwin Vaidya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Assessment is an issue that is central to the lives of educators and students alike. At all levels, from programmatic to course-specific, instructors strive to assess in a way that accurately measures achievement or progress relative to one’s goals. This paper reports on students’ experiences with alternative assessments in our undergraduate mathematics course for non-STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) majors. The course, Creative Thinking in Mathematics, designed to fulfil the university’s general education requirement for mathematics, was recently revised and renamed to highlight the role of creativity in mathematics. In the course, students engage in mathematics using creative approaches and consider how these approaches connect to other disciplines, their career aspirations, and important mathematical discoveries throughout history. This shift in course emphasis necessitated revisions to assessments in ways that mirrored the course’s instructional approach. This article describes the alternative assessments, outlines the research study, and reports on the results relative to students’ experiences with these assessments, both prior to and during the course, highlighting a need for instructors to reconsider traditional assessments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1272-1287
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2023


  • Assessment
  • creativity
  • general education
  • instructional strategies
  • interdisciplinary teaching and learning


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