Information for Authors of Modules

Modules are freely-downloadable, professionally-refereed, classroom-tested notes providing material for an inquiry-based unit on a specific topic. A Module will cover less than a full course. It might be as small as a single idea covered in one day, or as large as an independent topic spanning several weeks. A Module might be some portion of another course of study, but it must stand alone as a logically complete unit.

Modules are intended:

  1. for instructors to use as part of a course,
  2. for instructors to modify for use as part of their course, or
  3. for students to study a topic independently.

Instructors are encouraged to contact authors for guidance in the use of Modules.

Publication Requirements

Abstract

A Module must include a detailed abstract. This abstract should provide potential users with sufficient information to decide whether the module will fit with the logical and mathematical development of a longer course, and whether the associated pedagogical approach will match a potential instructor’s course goals and structure.

Keep in mind that users may be viewing multiple modules on a given topic, and will want to know what sets each apart from the others.

Classroom Testing

Modules should be thoroughly class-tested and provide a successful experience in their present formulation. Modules that have not been vetted through multiple cycles of classroom testing and revision rarely pass the refereeing process.

Content

Modules should be mathematically correct and well-written, consisting of a sequence of problems to solve, questions to answer, tasks to complete, or theorems to prove. Modules should provide enough material for their stated aims to be completely met. They may span a single class meeting or several weeks of a course, but will always be less than a full course.

While the sequence of tasks is important, the reproducibility of a Module depends upon the teaching practices used at the time. Authors must take care to provide users with details about the contexts in which the Module is successful. Authors should also describe carefully the way the Module is implemented on a day-by-day basis.

Copyrights

Authors submitting materials retain copyright and cede to JIBLM the right to display published materials in perpetuity. Materials may be reproduced and distributed provided that no charge is levied to the users beyond the costs of reproduction.

Introduction

Modules should maximize the opportunity for a successful implementation by providing potential instructors with a clear understanding of the details of the author’s use of the module. The introduction should therefore include:

  • A description of the module, which course(s) it is used in, and an approximate time frame required;
  • The approximate class size;
  • The number of times this module has been used in each setting;
  • A description of the approximate level of experience required of the students, including any information on what students must know before starting in order to be successful, and information on what the students must not know for the module as a whole to be successful;
  • Expectations for assessing and grading the students, if appropriate;
  • Characteristics of your course(s) without which the module will be unlikely to succeed, including information about the classroom setting, available technology, assumed experiences of the students outside of the module, etc.
  • Any other information that will be helpful for a less-experienced instructor who may be using this module as a first step into IBL teaching.

Pedagogy

Modules should adhere to an IBL pedagogy that utilizes presentations or student-centered activities to develop in students the confidence and ability to do mathematics on their own. Instructors typically supply students with carefully crafted activities or notes consisting of a sequence of definitions, problems or theorems. Instructors then serve as mentors, listening to the students, reviewing their work, and giving them the minimal information they need to understand the defined concepts, solve the problems, or prove the theorems.

Submissions

Modules should be sent via email to the Submissions Editor TJ Hitchman along with a completed Submissions Form using the LaTeX templates provided. The form template_mod.tex serves as:

  • a guide to typesetting your course notes, and
  • a template to be modified to produce your print ready submission.

To Get Started

  • download the Submission Form, submission_mod.tex,
  • download the LaTeX template, template_mod.tex,
  • download the JIBLM Formatting Package, jiblm_mod.tex,
  • place jiblm_mod.tex and template_mod.tex in the same directory,
  • compile template_mod.tex and read the output, and
  • place your notes into a copy of the file template_mod.tex.

Do not modify jiblm_mod.tex. If you encounter any difficulties, please contact the Technical Editor Paul Kapitza for assistance.

Additional Information

Joint Authorship

Some Modules come with a pedigree, having been modified from another instructor's notes. JIBLM encourages such adaptations. To handle these instances, JIBLM adheres to the following two conventions regarding authorship.

For cases where an author modifies another's notes:

If each of X and Y is an author, then the relation X<Y indicates that the Module was originally authored by Y and subsequently modified by X, who takes full responsibility for the current version. While Y is credited with the genesis of the notes, s/he makes no claim to the accuracy of the current version which may or may not reflect her/his original vision.

For cases where an author reproduces another's work (for example, posthumously):

If each of X and Y is an author, then the relation X << Y indicates that this Module was originally authored by Y and subsequently prepared for submission to JIBLM by X without significant modification and with appropriate permissions. While Y is credited with the genesis of the Module, X takes full responsibility for the current version.

Student and Instructor Versions

As an author, you may wish to create both a student and an instructor version of your module. The instructor version will consist of the student version along with additional advice, comments and guidance to the instructor that might unnecessarily clutter the student version. Upon publication, both versions will be available on-line from the journal. The downloadable template described above allows you to create one LaTeX document that will produce both versions by toggling one commented line in the beginning of the document.

Submission and Page Costs

There are no submission or page costs associated with publishing in JIBLM.

Updating Modules

In order to keep the highest quality materials available online, JIBLM encourages the revision of published Modules. Should an author desire corrections or modifications, the author may submit a complete list of revisions along with a new submission to replace the original submission. The revised version will be refereed, and will replace the old version if it is accepted. Such submissions will be replaced in December and June to assure that faculty using modules on-line will not be affected.