I am interested in students' transition from high school to university mathematics, as well as teaching and learning of first-year mathematics.
My main research area is the transition from high school to university mathematics. My 20+ years’ teaching experience on both sides of the secondary-tertiary transitional fence gives me an excellent understanding of students’ knowledge, allowing me to focus my teaching on specific, known problem areas such as algebra, calculus and contextual understanding.
I do not just rely on my background knowledge and communication skills, but also take a scholarly approach to generate new knowledge that informs my teaching. In particular, I have been successful in attracting competitive grant funding for teaching innovations. For example, I recently led an OLT Extension Grant on diagnostic testing. This grant saw the implementation of a unique diagnostic test system, GetSet, in four Australian universities. In 2008 I was part of a team that was awarded a UQ Teaching and Learning Strategic Grant to design the competency test (that is now GetSet) for first-year engineering students to assess knowledge of high school level mathematics, physics, and chemistry, and also the ability of the students to apply this knowledge. I was also a Chief Investigator on a Carrick Grant that developed a powerful and flexible electronic system called SmartAss that creates unlimited questions accompanied by fully worked solutions. This innovative system has been used with great success over a range of mathematics, science and business courses for the past ten years.
I have also led a number of internally funded projects. These projects have developed a comprehensive range of new small-group learning resources for students in core engineering courses to complement a redeveloped student-focused mathematics learning space, an online diagnostic test with automatic correction and feedback to students and staff, numerous study guides for first-year mathematics courses, and a $99,000 Technology Enhanced Learning grant to update and improve SmartAss. All of these teaching innovation grants are aimed at improving students’ mathematical understanding along with their first-year experience.
I am heavily involved in the work of the School’s Teaching and Learning Committee that has been responsible for improving the overall quality of the teaching within the School. I have been actively involved in implementing the measures for teaching quality assessment and students’ learning outcomes which are being implemented into majority of School courses and resulted in a dramatic improvement of course evaluation scores for the School.
I have also been involved in the development and review of the Australian Curriculum: Mathematics, and foster links between high school teachers and university lecturers through my role as Executive Committee Member of the Queensland Association of Mathematics Teachers.
I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a member of the UQ College of Peer Observers.
In my nearly-completed PhD I am continuing my research on students’ mathematical understanding, which will allow me to further improve my teaching.
Journal Article: Declining numbers? Really?
Jennings, Michael (2014) Declining numbers? Really?. Teaching Mathematics, 39 2: 10-14.
Journal Article: A mathematics support programme for first-year engineering students
Hillock, Poh Wah, Jennings, Michael, Roberts, Anthony and Scharaschkin, Victor (2013) A mathematics support programme for first-year engineering students. International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, 44 7: 1030-1044. doi:10.1080/0020739X.2013.823251
Book Chapter: Mathematics and the pharmacokinetics of alcohol
Jennings, Michael and Adams, Peter (2013). Mathematics and the pharmacokinetics of alcohol. In Gloria Ann Stillman, Gabriele Kaiser, Werner Blum and Jill P. Brown (Ed.), Teaching Mathematical Modelling: Connecting to Research and Practice (pp. 597-606) Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer Netherlands. doi:10.1007/978-94-007-6540-5_51
Award for Teaching Excellence (ATE) - Australian Awards for University Teaching (AAUT)
(2015–2018) AAUT Award for Teaching Excellence
(2014–2015) OLT Extension Grants
Step up! Transforming mathematics and science pre-service secondary teacher education in Queensland
(2014–2015)
A mathematics support programme for first-year engineering students
Hillock, Poh Wah, Jennings, Michael, Roberts, Anthony and Scharaschkin, Victor (2013) A mathematics support programme for first-year engineering students. International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, 44 7: 1030-1044. doi:10.1080/0020739X.2013.823251
Mathematics and the pharmacokinetics of alcohol
Jennings, Michael and Adams, Peter (2013). Mathematics and the pharmacokinetics of alcohol. In Gloria Ann Stillman, Gabriele Kaiser, Werner Blum and Jill P. Brown (Ed.), Teaching Mathematical Modelling: Connecting to Research and Practice (pp. 597-606) Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer Netherlands. doi:10.1007/978-94-007-6540-5_51
Mathematics and the pharmacokinetics of alcohol
Jennings, Michael and Adams, Peter (2013). Mathematics and the pharmacokinetics of alcohol. In Gloria Ann Stillman, Gabriele Kaiser, Werner Blum and Jill P. Brown (Ed.), Teaching Mathematical Modelling: Connecting to Research and Practice (pp. 597-606) Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer Netherlands. doi:10.1007/978-94-007-6540-5_51
Jennings, Michael (2014) Declining numbers? Really?. Teaching Mathematics, 39 2: 10-14.
A mathematics support programme for first-year engineering students
Hillock, Poh Wah, Jennings, Michael, Roberts, Anthony and Scharaschkin, Victor (2013) A mathematics support programme for first-year engineering students. International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, 44 7: 1030-1044. doi:10.1080/0020739X.2013.823251
I want to go to uni: should I study one maths subject or two in Years 11 and 12?
Jennings, Michael (2013). I want to go to uni: should I study one maths subject or two in Years 11 and 12?. In: Sandra Herbert, Julie Tillyer and Toby Spencer, Mathematics: Launching Futures. Proceedings of the 24th Biennial Conference of The Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers Inc. AAMT Biennial Conference 2013: Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers Conference 2013, Melbourne, VIC, Australia, (101-106). 10-13 July, 2013.
Mathematical integration throughout the BE: lecturer expectations versus student knowledge
Jennings, Michael, Kavanagh, Lydia, O'Moore, Liza and Haji Lakim, Siti (2012). Mathematical integration throughout the BE: lecturer expectations versus student knowledge. In: Llewellyn Mann and Scott Daniel, AAEE 2012 Conference Proceedings. 23rd Annual Conference of the Australasian Association of Engineering Education (AAEE 2012), Melbourne, Australia, (79-87). 3 - 5 December 2012.
An open-access online question generator with fully worked solutions
Jennings, Michael and Adams, Peter (2011). An open-access online question generator with fully worked solutions. In: Julie Clark, Barry Kissane, Judith Mousley, Toby Spencer and Steve Thornton, Mathematics: Traditions and [New] Practices : Proceedings of the AAMT–MERGA Conference. Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers (AAMT) and the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia (MERGA) Conference 2011, Alice Springs, NT, Australia, (981-988). 3-7 July 2011.
The transition from high school to university: The University of Queensland perspective
Jennings, Michael (2011). The transition from high school to university: The University of Queensland perspective. In: John Hannah, Mike Thomas and Louise Sheryn, Te Ara Mokoroa: The Long Abiding Path of Knowledge - Proceedings of Volcanic Delta 2011. Volcanic Delta 2011: The Eighth Southern Hemisphere Conference on Teaching and Learning Undergraduate Mathematics and Statistics, Rotorua, New Zealand, (139-149). 27 November - 2 December 2011.
Issues in bridging between senior secondary and first year university mathematics
Jennings, Michael Surman (2009). Issues in bridging between senior secondary and first year university mathematics. In: Roberta Hunter, Brenda Bicknell and Tim Burgess, Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia. MERGA32, Wellington, New Zealand, (273-280). 5-9 July 2009.
Award for Teaching Excellence (ATE) - Australian Awards for University Teaching (AAUT)
(2015–2018) AAUT Award for Teaching Excellence
(2014–2015) OLT Extension Grants
Step up! Transforming mathematics and science pre-service secondary teacher education in Queensland
(2014–2015)
A new enabling technology for learning and teaching quantitative skills
(2006–2008) Carrick Competitive Grants