The Maths Skills Program for first year Science and Statistics

Host Institution:

La Trobe University

Title of Seminar:

The Maths Skills Program for first year Science and Statistics

Speaker's Name:

Dr Deborah Jackson

Speaker's Institution:

La Trobe University

Time and Date:

Friday 16 November, 2.00 PM (EDT)

Seminar Abstract:

 

The Maths Skills Program for first year science and statistics undergraduates at La Trobe University has not only been developed to provide students with mathematics support, but to show them the relevance of mathematics to their disciplines. It has been running for five semesters, with reflection and fine-tuning each semester. An ongoing collaboration between the project leader, a mathematician, and participating subject discipline academics, was an important element of its successful implementation. The objectives were not only to improve students’ mathematical skills, but also to improve their mathematics confidence, self-assessment, self-regulation and motivation. The program was integrated into science and statistics subjects in a flexible, user friendly way, providing students with choice as to their learning modes. It offered one-to-one help, worksheets (with question written in context and section on relevance), and 24/7 online testing, video help and study plans via the MyMathTest site (Pearson Education). The material ranged from the basics to, and including, first year level mathematics. In this talk, the program will be described. Also, feedback from questionnaires and analysis of quantitative data will be discussed.  A high percentage of responding students saw the relevance of the program to their educational goals. A high percentage also believed the questions written in context helped them learn their subject, and the sections on relevance helped them understand how mathematics was related to their subject. Analysis of subject results suggested the program was helpful for students and improved retention.

 

Seminar Convenor:

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