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Using virtual and physical learning spaces to develop a successful mathematical learning community, both for on-site and distance provision

This paper considers learning space and its relationship to student belonging and becoming. Student engagement, satisfaction and academic success are outcomes of a supportive learning community which can flourish in a culture of expectation and behaviour created by providing suitable support structures and by considering the effective use of physical and virtual learning spaces. We describe our innovative use of discipline-specific virtual and physical spaces to develop successful mathematical l...

In this paper we report on the effects of a different marketing strategy on promoting engagement with the online Mathematics Learning Support (MLS) service (mostly screencasts) compared to our traditional advertising approach which was solely to send generic emails to students advertising the online services. The findings show that this new marketing strategy was far more effective than traditional methods of advertising in getting students to engage with the online service. This paper describes...

Deficiencies in the mathematical skills of students entering university study are having a negative impact on their education, and more broadly have serious consequences for society as a whole. Research demonstrates that extra initiatives established to give these students an opportunity to succeed are making a difference, and that the staff who provide these supports play a fundamental role. Here we review two different models of structured training that were developed for these tutors, via two...

The impact of peer assessment on mathematics students’ understanding of marking criteria and their ability to self-regulate learning

At the University of Nottingham peer-assessment was piloted with the objective of assisting students to gain greater understanding of marking criteria so that students may improve their comprehension of, and solutions to, future mathematical tasks. The study resulted in improvement in all four factors of observation, emulation, self-control and self-regulation thus providing evidence of a positive impact on student learning. The pilot involved a large first-year mathematics class who completed a...

The standard version of the game Rock-Paper-Scissors is interesting in terms of game theory, but less so in terms of Statistics. However, we show that with a small rule change it can be made into an interactive exercise for degree-level students of Statistics that leads to a Bayesian change-point model, for which the Gibbs sampler provides an intuitive method of inference. First, students play the game to generate the data. Second, they are encouraged to formulate a model that reflects their exp...

In this paper we develop a taxonomy of errors which undergraduate mathematics students may make when tackling mathematical problems. We believe that a taxonomy would be useful for staff in giving feedback to students, and would facilitate students’ higher-level understanding of the types of errors that they could make.

The Numbas e-assessment system was first introduced to Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) in 2014. It has been implemented in several modules and is used regularly by a number of Lecturers. The aim of this case study was to investigate how embedded Numbas is in the Mathematics department in CIT and to examine the perceptions of the lecturing staff which have led to their individual adoptions of the Numbas e-assessment tool. The results of a survey of lecturers within the department show that the...

Electronic Preparatory Test for Mathematics Undergraduates: Implementation, Results and Correlations

We present a study of the implementation of the Electronic Preparatory Test for beginning undergraduates reading mathematics at the University of Hull. The Test comprises two elements: diagnostic and self-learning . The diagnostic element identifies gaps in the background knowledge, whilst the self-learning element guides students through an upcoming material. The Test lends itself to an early identification of weak and strong students coming from a wide range of background, allowing follow-ups ...

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