Diversification of the site

Hi everyone. It’s been a while. Sorry!

That’s not to say nothing has happened; on the contrary, much has occurred not least including a revamp of this website. I’m afraid I’ve ditched the idea of translating posts. I do enjoy translating posts and writing in other languages (reading my posts back in another language normally makes them feel more profound, somehow!). However, it was time-consuming and, though enjoyable, caused sufficient consternation to prevent me from posting more often.

So, you might have noticed that the my website is monochrome infused with purple. An odd colour choice? Well, it represents the asexuality symbol. Since I identify with the definitions of asexuality, I want to write more about it, as it’s still not really “mainstream” yet. That is, there are some people that (understandably) find it difficult to understand asexuality and some (not understandably) are hostile towards the idea. I don’t want to be a spokesperson or poster boy (ha!) for asexuality, but I hope by sharing what I find and experience there can be some sharing of understanding. That’s the plan, anyway.

I have also been working on Cramlington Today. It’s a bit of a pet project, where the pet is a rather large labrador. No, really, it’s a huge labrador. It’s a sweet, friendly and cuddly puppy that offers a lot to its owner but can sometimes be a little too big to handle. As a project, it’s the product of my wish to promote the town I live in, which is really an up-and-coming town that offers (and will offer) a lot to the region. Cramlington Today will eventually be a community project (I hope) and will be a tourism site, community site, and local business site rolled into one.

As I write this, I’m in Amsterdam. I’m having a short break and enjoying the delights of Benelux (minus Luxembourg). To give an itinerary of what I’ve visited so far (that’s Monday through to Friday): Den Haag (The Hague), Mauritshuis, the International Court of Justice, Bruges, the Artis Royal Zoo, Rembrandthuis, the Hermitage Museum, the Holland International boat tour, the Amsterdam ArenA and the Rijksmuseum. Tomorrow we’re headed for Brussels. I’m exhausted and my back muscles are raging a violent war against my spine.

On Monday I’ll be jetting back to the UK. I’ll be needing a holiday after that!

Education Grant Report: Ideal Learning Cycle

By |December 14th, 2013|Magazine article|0 Comments

Broughton, S.J., 2013. Education Grant Report: Ideal Learning Cycle. Mathematics Today, 49(6): 255. Institute of Mathematics and its Applications: Southend-on-Sea.

Can you learn Danish by osmosis?

By |September 21st, 2013|Recent news|0 Comments

An interesting article on learning language by immersing oneself in a country that speaks the language.

PME 37, Kiel, Germany

By |August 2nd, 2013|2013, Presentations|0 Comments

A definition for effective assessment and implications on computer-aided assessment practice


PME 37
28 July — 2 August 2013
Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Kiel, Germany


For a decade, computer-aided assessment (CAA) has been used extensively with first-year mathematics and engineering undergraduates studying mathematics modules at the institution under investigation.

This project sought to evaluate the effectiveness of CAA. Using assessment literature and activity theory to frame the study, this paper explores the aims of assessment and what it means for assessment to be “effective”: it proposes a definition for effective assessment and discusses whether CAA can be considered effective assessment by this definition.


A definition for effective assessment and implications on computer-aided assessment practice

Broughton, S.J. Hernandez-Martinez, P. and Robinson, C.L., 2013. A definition for effective assessment and implications on computer-aided assessment practice. In: A.M. Lindmeier and A. Heinze (Eds.), Proceedings of the 37th Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, Vol. 2: 113-120. Kiel, Germany: PME.


My views of middle lane-hoggers

By |June 5th, 2013|Recent news|0 Comments

Today, the government announced measures to widen the scope of sanctions against careless driving for, among other things, middle lane-hogging.

BBC News also offered their analysis of these changes and why it is such a problem.

And here is mine.

As a driver, I place implicit trust in other drivers to drive somewhat predictably and, where actions are not predictable, adequate warning is given. In doing so, I have been able to avoid potential accidents, offer courtesy in congestion and drive economically, by anticipating the road ahead.

Middle lane-hoggers wilfully and flagrantly breach the Highway Code. In attempting to act predictably, they are creating doubt as to whether they adhere to any part of the Highway Code, or whether they just pick and choose the bits they like. Perhaps they do not indicate correctly at roundabouts, or perhaps they don’t really have a clue which set of lights they should be using. They probably don’t ever stop at zebra crossings.

An oft-heard claim is that middle lane-hoggers travel at 70 miles per hour and thus should not be causing any problems: those travelling faster are the nuisance. This argument is a case of “pot calling the kettle black”. You are a nuisance and — now — you’re a careless driver, too.

BERA event, Institute of Education, London

By |May 10th, 2013|2013, Presentations|0 Comments

Effective assessment in higher education: a cultural-historical activity theoretical perspective


HE and CHAT BERA SiG Event
10 May 2013
Institute of Education, University of London, London


The project, overall, is an evaluation of a computer-aided assessment (CAA) system for mathematics and engineering undergraduates.

In order to perform such an evaluation, there requires a set of standards or criteria against which the assessment can be compared. For this project, we have developed a “definition for effective assessment” that considers aspects of the assessment literature and cultural historical activity theory. The evaluation will be performed against this definition. This presentation examines

  • why creating such a definition was necessary;
  • how cultural historical activity theory and assessment literature has informed the nature of the definition; and
  • how the definition has been used to evaluate the CAA system for two cases.


Why are Buddhist monks attacking Muslims?

By |May 2nd, 2013|Recent news|0 Comments

It seems every religion is doomed to being twisted for the blood-hungry.

Lecturers’ perspectives on the use of a mathematics-based computer-aided assessment system

Broughton, S.J. Robinson, C.L. and Hernandez-Martinez, P., 2013. Lecturers’ perspectives on the use of a mathematics-based computer-aided assessment system. Teaching Mathematics and its Applications, 32(2): 88-94.


Science Matters returns…

By |March 29th, 2013|Recent news|0 Comments

Once again, I’m involved as a member of the organising committee for the Science Matters conference. It is a conference for the research students in the School of Science at Loughborough University. Staff in the School are also welcome.

There will be a poster competition and talks performed by students during the event on Wednesday 1st May 2013. For more information, visit the conference website.