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Provision of maths support for student in higher education institutions
University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Land Surveying and Mathematics.
2012 (English)In: The 40th Annual Congress of the Nordic Educational Research Association: March 8-10, 2012, Copenhagen, Aarhus: Department of Eduation, Aarhus University , 2012, 283- p.Conference paper, (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

European countries including Scandinavian countries are facing a crisis in preparing qualified staff for working in science and engineering. Declining numbers of students pursuing careers in these areas and poor quality of maths education in secondary schools are the principal factors contributing to this problem.

Students entering universities have a diverse level of maths knowledge which is often below university requirements. University teachers face a challenging and complex task of teaching such a diverse student body. One of the most common ways to tackle this problem and to raise the level of students' maths knowledge to the required standard is to introduce a maths foundation course prior to mainstream teaching. However, this is not always possible because of academic staff availability and/or time and cost constraints.

Another solution is to provide additional help with maths-related problems by running drop-in sessions, workshops and/or tutorials.

This study analyses the efficiency of maths support provision in two universities: Leeds Metropolitan University, UK and Högskolan Väst, Sweden. This is an on-going collaboration between two universities and in this paper we present the results of this study focussing on the academic staff prospective, using questionnaires, observations and interviews with tutors.

Based on the collected data we concluded that often students are not fully engaged during workshops. They prefer a 'solve this for me' approach which they try to achieve during individual sessions and which is not always possible with the course tutor. However, implementing methods which increase students' engagement with the learning process (e.g. problem-based learning andpeer-assisted learning) can be more useful. Running subject-specific workshops (e.g. for nurses, business students or teachers) helps to focus on students' particular needs, and individual tutorials can accommodate other needs.

The paper concludes with recommendations for improving the efficiency of maths support for students.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Aarhus: Department of Eduation, Aarhus University , 2012. 283- p.
National Category
Mathematics
Research subject
Mathematics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-4859OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-4859DiVA: diva2:581602
Conference
NERA 2012
Available from: 2013-01-02 Created: 2012-12-06 Last updated: 2013-01-03Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf