Presentations and Workshops

Programme of talks released for international EAMS 2018 Conference 

EAMS logo

The programme for the E-Assessment in Mathematical Sciences (EAMS) conference has been released, with speakers from across the globe presenting the latest developments in the field and offering a unique opportunity to get hands-on with maths e-assessment systems, whether you are a user, a developer, or just interested! The conference takes place over 3 days at Newcastle University, between 28th and 30th August. Read the rest

Introduction to Numbas workshops – June 2018

We’re running Numbas workshops this month in Durham and Huddersfield:

  • Monday 18th June, 10am-4pm, Durham University.
  • Thursday 21st June, 10am-4pm, Huddersfield University.

The workshops are a hands-on introduction to Numbas, including getting started on the Numbas mathcentre editor, selecting questions to make tests, and writing your own questions.

The workshops are free to attend and will include lunch. There are limited places available; if you would like to book a spot, please contact Chris Graham ( before June 13th.

Numbas Workshop

Announcing the EAMS conference 2018

EAMS logo

The international conference on E-Assessment in Mathematical Sciences (EAMS) is a three-day academic conference organised by Newcastle University taking place 28th – 30th August 2018.

Building on the success of EAMS 2016, the conference aims to bring together researchers and practitioners with an interest in e-assessment for mathematics and the sciences, with an emphasis on enabling attendees to have a go at creating material, and getting an opportunity to share expertise directly. It will consist of a mix of presentations of new techniques, and pedagogic research, as well as live demos and workshops where you can get hands-on with leading e-assessment software.

Photo of EAMS 2016 attendees during a hands-on computer lab session

Photo of the audience during a talk at EAMS 2016

Over three days, EAMS 2018 will comprise a mix of talks and hands-on activities:

  • Developer updates from the people responsible for popular mathematical e-assessment systems, detailing the latest features.
  • Lightning talks on a variety of topics to do with e-assessment in mathematical disciplines.
  • Hands-on workshops led by experts in a variety of e-assessment systems.
  • Live demos led by experts in the field.
  • Code sprints with the aim of adding features to systems, writing documentation, or creating material on a particular topic.

Compared to EAMS 2016, the emphasis this time is much more on enabling attendees to have a go at creating material, and getting an opportunity to share expertise directly.

The call for talk and workshop proposals is currently open. If you have some research or an innovative technique related to mathematical e-assessment that you would like to present, EAMS 2018 is the perfect venue. The deadline for talk proposals is May 31st.

The conference fee is only £75 and includes a conference dinner. You can find out more about EAMS, as well as the forms to register for the conference and propose a talk, at the conference website,

Free “Introduction to Numbas” workshop at Bath, 31st August 2017

The sigma network is hosting a free workshop hosted by the Mathematics Resource Centre, University of Bath on Thursday 31st August, 10:30-16:30.

This event will provide:

  • a hands-on introduction to Numbas, including logging on to the mathcentre editor, selecting questions to make tests, and writing your own questions.
  • a resource swap shop. Opportunity for all delegates to share information on a resource they use.
  • information about using Numbas to fill the gaps in mathcentre.

There’s more information on the event’s page on the sigma website.

A demonstration of Numbas at CAA 2015

Last week I gave a demonstration of Numbas at the CAA Conference in Zeist. As part of the submission process I had to submit a formal paper, which it turns out isn’t being included in the published proceedings because it was on the practice track. Instead, I thought I’d reproduce the paper here, since it offers a good, brief overview of Numbas. If you’d like the PDF version of the paper, click here.

Numbas is a free and open-source e-assessment system developed at Newcastle University. This demonstration highlights the key features of Numbas and the design considerations for an e-assessment tool focused on mathematics. Read the rest

Upcoming talks and workshops – Summer 2015

numbas talks map

Last week we were in Bergen to give a keynote talk and workshop at the MatRIC Computer Aided Assessment in Mathematics Colloquium. A good time was had by all, despite the rain, and now we’re back in Newcastle preparing for even more talks and workshops. It’s a busy time of year!

On Friday the 12th of June, Bill is giving a talk at the IMA International Conference on Barriers and Enablers to Learning Maths: Enhancing Learning and Teaching for All Learners in Glasgow, titled “Online Practice in Mathematics and Statistics. A model for community collaboration”.

Next, Christian is in the Netherlands for the International Computer Assisted Assessment (CAA) Conference, where he’s giving a demonstration of Numbas on the 22nd of June.

Finally, we’re running a two-day workshop on Numbas at Loughborough University on the 6th and 7th of July, supported by the sigma network. The first day is aimed at introducing new users to Numbas, and the second day will cover more advanced use. The workshop is free to attend, so there’s nothing to stop you!

New search interface, talks, and a mailing list

Last week I deployed the new question search and organisation interface to the mathcentre editor. We noticed that the global question database was becoming quite unwieldy now that we have so many users (not complaining!), and finding both your questions and good questions written by others was getting harder. The new interface downplays the big list, instead presenting you with a few different ways in to the most useful parts of the site.

numbas new question index

The questions index page now shows you a kind of ‘dashboard’, with links to the most popular tags, your recently-edited questions, as well as some highlights picked by us and your starred questions – you can save a question to this list by clicking on the star next to its name on the question edit page. You can still search the entire database by entering keywords or question titles in the search box at the top of the page.

It’s not a coincidence that we also delivered a workshop on using Numbas at eAssessment Scotland 2013. An hour really wasn’t long enough to do very much at all, but everyone seemed very positive about Numbas and keen to investigate it further. I asked for a show of hands at the start to find out who had signed up for the workshop because they’d already heard of Numbas, and I was pleasantly surprised by the response!

In future conference action, James Denholm-Price of Kingston University London will be giving a talk titled “Using Numbas for formative and summative assessment” at CETL-MSOR 2013 on the 10th of September. James used Numbas in his linear algebra course last year and has many interesting things to say about it. Also at CETL our two summer students, Hayley Bishop and Sarah Jowett, will be talking about their work on the maths support wiki we’re creating with Birmingham University, to complement our respective maths support centres. More on that later!

On the 23rd of October I’ll be giving a talk about Numbas at an IOP-sponsored event on “Promoting learning through technology” at Edinburgh University. I don’t think the event has a webpage or even a definite venue yet; I’ll give details when I have them.

Finally, we’ve set up a numbas-users mailing list on Google Groups. The idea is to have a place to discuss Numbas use, ask and answer questions about authoring, and talk about features you’d like to see. Bill has started it off by asking for comments on the new searching interface.

Workshop: Building online maths assessments using Numbas – 04 July 2013

We’re giving a day-long workshop titled “Building online maths assessments using Numbas” at the University of York on the 4th of July. It’ll be an introduction to using Numbas, from logging on to the mathcentre editor, through selecting questions to make a test, to eventually writing your own questions.

The workshop is provided by the Sigma North East network for excellence in mathematics and statistics support, and attendance is free.

There’s more information, and a booking form, on the Sigma NE event page.