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Feature: Xinli Wang, University of Manitoba

For Xinli Wang, Math is a universal language. With almost a decade of teaching experience in Singapore and Canada, Xinli currently passes on her appreciation for this ‘ancient discipline’ to her students at the University of Manitoba. Here we have the pleasure of sharing Xinli’s thoughts on Crowdmark, learning outcomes, and the best strategies for keeping students engaged.

International innovation

After completing her PhD studies at Nanyang Technological University in 2012, Xinli taught in her home country until 2016, when she made her journey across the world. Having left her mark on Math faculties at several institutions in the Greater Toronto Area, Xinli finally landed in Winnipeg in August of 2020. Xinli’s experience teaching and learning in different languages has fostered a passion for inclusive course design and building open educational resources, which she shares in her blog, as a speaker at conferences and seminars, and via research publications.

Success as a community

The idea that “everyone can do math, and everyone can excel at mathematics given enough space to learn, make mistakes, and grow” guides Xinli’s approach to keeping students engaged and embracing a growth mindset in what many view as a difficult, tedious subject area. Building an intentional and inclusive learning community, Xinli says, is key: “Students will participate when they feel they are included, and their voices are heard”.

When it comes to Crowdmark, Xinli applies her innovative and community-focused approach to assessment design using comments alongside grading annotation for timely and detailed student feedback. She told us:

“Some of these assessments do not have a grade associated because I want them to focus on my feedback and they are offered multiple opportunities to demonstrate their mastery of the same topic/learning objective. Crowdmark makes the logistics of these tasks straightforward and pain free.”