Student Numeracy Support Using Bespoke Reusable Learning Objects

Ferrier, C. 2011. Student Numeracy Support Using Bespoke Reusable Learning Objects. CETL-MSOR Conference 2011. Coventry University 06 Sep 2011

TitleStudent Numeracy Support Using Bespoke Reusable Learning Objects
AuthorsFerrier, C.
TypeConference poster
Abstract

The variation in entrance numeracy qualifications and skills for undergraduate students embarking on Life Sciences programmes can be addressed by a variety of support options in their first year of study. Appropriate numeracy teaching and practice is embedded into course modules and offered within academic tutorials. There is also a wealth of external e-books, mathematics websites and reusable learning objects that students can be directed towards for self-study. Despite these initiatives many students continue to lack confidence in their ability to apply the relevant mathematics to solve problems and in some cases this can affect their overall performance throughout the degree. A recent small study found a highly positive response from students to the provision of worked calculations and explanations to a selection of numeracy problems, which they were able to access via the virtual learning environment throughout the duration of a module. Most reported to using this in preparation for a summative data handling test and in subsequent student questionnaires most felt that its provision had improved their test performance. A project was undertaken to provide University of Westminster Life Sciences students with a bespoke local numeracy resource to support their studies. To ensure that this resource would contain an appropriate range and selection of examples, all staff members and research students were asked for voluntary contributions to the project. The request was for a single numeracy problem relating to one of their teaching or research areas, the worked calculation for the problem, the correct answer and a summary of the application(s). All contributions were collated and used for the production of a web-based interactive numeracy resource and a text-based version to encompass different student learning preferences. These resources will be made available to all students from September 2011 via the virtual learning environment and as a hard copy booklet. The usefulness of this new resource will be monitored by a combination of student and staff feedback and the analysis of the end of year student performance.

Keywordsnumeracy support
reusable learning object
Year2011
ConferenceCETL-MSOR Conference 2011
Accepted author manuscript
Cover sheet attachedFerrier_2011_poster.pdf

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