Carol Robinson, Loughborough University
Over the last six months, colleagues at Exeter, Birmingham and Loughborough Universities have been implementing the mathematics support interventions.
This is in response to findings from Phase 1 of the project which established an issue with the mathematical skills preparedness and mathematical confidence of BTEC students, and other students, who have not studied mathematics post-16 when undertaking quantitative first year modules at university.
The type of additional support being offered at each of the three universities differs and has been created in response to particular local needs and resources. A brief outline of each of the three strands of the intervention follows. First year students who have not studied mathematics post-16, are strongly encouraged to avail themselves of the support.
University of Exeter Business School
Alison Truelove, Graham Perkins and Marwa Tourky are leading this work. Additional mathematics support includes: Maths and Stats helpdesk (staffed by PhD students); a series of regular workshops on key topics such as algebra, differentiation, hypothesis testing and practical statistics (using SPSS); links to key high quality online resources, e.g. mathcentre and statstutor.
Birmingham Business School
Rob Fleming leads this work and the emphasis is on targeted online support. Students who have struggled with maths/stats in the first semester are encouraged to undertake supplementary work using the online learning platform MyMaths. Direct links are provided by Rob to relevant material, which includes a range of ready-made lessons and online tasks. Tracking of student progress is an additional asset.
Loughborough University School of Business and Economics
Keith Pond leads this work. One important feature is the teaching of first year quantitative skills modules in two groups – one for those who have studied mathematics post-16 and one for those who have not. Students are also actively encouraged to make use of the award-winning Mathematics Learning Support Centre. As at Exeter, links are provided on the VLE to relevant online resources.
Over the last few weeks we have been undertaking a detailed evaluation of the maths support interventions and using this to inform our approaches for Semester 1, 18/19. Updates to appear in a future blog!