Measuring the Effectiveness of Support Centres resources
Assessing the value: Maths Workshop
This brief contribution from IAN BEVERIDGE (then of Luton University) is probably one of the first recorded notes which attempts to assess the effectiveness of a mathematics support centre (herein called a Workshop). It describes a workshop for access students, and its role in encouraging students to complete coursework assignments. It notes that a lower dropout rate is found in the subgroup of workshop attenders. However, it draws attentions to a perceived shortcoming which can result in creating and feeding dependency rather than independence amongst the students. The note can be found in the Mathematics Support Association Newsletter No.2 (1994) (now disbanded, but available from the sigma website).
Evaluation of the University of Limerick Mathematics Learning Centre
In a time when mathematical unpreparedness is rife and learning support is most urgently needed, this investigation by Claire Carroll and supervised by Dr. Olivia Gill seeks to evaluate the effectiveness of the mathematics learning centre in the University of Limerick. Qualitative and quantitative data on the impact of the mathematics learning centre on the students' mathematics education and students' attitudes towards mathematics were collected through the use of student questionnaires. Analysis of this data provides significant evidence that the mathematics learning centre is making an invaluable contribution to the mathematical experience of the students who are availing of its services. The results of this study strongly support the belief that mathematics learning centres have the potential to provide students with both the affective and cognitive support that is so critical to many of the students entering third level education presently.
Investigation of completion rates of engineering students
This paper by ROSS CUTHBERT and HELEN MACGILLIVRAY discusses analysis of data on initiatives to improve retention rates on engineering degree programmes at Queensland University of Technology in Australia. The paper was presented at Delta 07 - the Southern Hemisphere Symposium on Undergraduate Mathematics Teaching. The Mathematics Access Centre at QUT offers optional extra support and examination workshops. The paper reports that students accessing these are nearly twice as likely to complete the course as the whole cohort, and half as likely to discontinue engineering.
Is Mathematics Support worthwhile ? An overview of the 3rd Irish Workshop on Mathematics Learning and Support Centres
This paper, by Mac an Bhaird & O'Shea, is an overview of the 3rd Irish Irish Workshop on Mathematics Support and Learning Centres. Being able to accurately evaluate support centre services is a very important issue. We hosted this conference inviting speakers from support centres in Ireland and leading experts in the UK to discuss the procedures they use to evaluate their services. This paper is an overview of the talks given and contains many relevant links for similar material in the area
Justifying the existence of Mathematics Learning Support; Measuring the effectiveness of a Mathematics Learning Centre
In this paper by Olivia Gill and John O'Donoghue, the authors look at various ways of measuring the success of the Mathematics Learning Centre at the University of Limerick.
Learning Support and students studying mathematics and statistics
FOR COPYRIGHT REASONS YOU MAY BE UNABLE TO ACCESS THIS LINK DIRECTLY. This paper, by Helen MacGillivray, Queensland University of Technology, describes learning support in mathematics and statistics in Australian universities. Analysis of data for students studying mathematics and statistics contributes to growing evidence that such learning support is fulfilling needs across the range of student capabilities, including students choosing mathematics degree programs. It is published in the International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology: Volume 40, Issue 4, First published 2009, Pages 455 Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢?? 472
Mathematics Support - support for all ?
FOR COPYRIGHT REASONS DIRECT ACCESS TO THIS PAPER MAY BE UNAVAILABLE. Mathematics Support - support for all ? Godfrey Pell & Tony Croft, published in the journal Teaching Mathematics and its Applications (2008). This research paper describes and analyses data from a cohort of engineering students. Some made good use of a mathematics learning support centre; others didn't. Many frequent users are quite competent and simply want to do better. The authors conclude, that in their particular study, mathematics support improved the pass rate by about 3%.
Measuring maths study support
FOR COPYRIGHT REASONS DIRECT ACCESS TO THIS PAPER MAY BE UNAVAILABLE. This research paper by Chetna Patel and John Little, Robert Gordon University, presents evidence that maths study support can increase maths related module pass rates and scores for undergraduate engineering students. The paper is published in Teaching Mathematics and its Applications (2006).
Measuring the effectiveness of a maths learning support centre - the DCU experience
This research paper by Donal Dowling and Brien Nolan, Dublin City University, reports upon efforts to measure the effectiveness of the Maths Learning Centre at Dublin City University. It provides a model of measuring effectiveness which compares the pass rates of "at risk" students who did or did not visit the mathematics support centre. The model shows that in each of the two years studied the centre made a direct contribution to the success of approximately 11 students. The paper was presented at the CETL MSOR Conference in September 2006.
Participation (Diagnosis + Prescription) = Resolution
This paper by CHETNA PATEL, The Robert Gordon University, demonstrates how appropriate mathematical diagnosis followed by study support improves engineering students' performance. The paper is published in MSOR Connections (Vol. 4 No.2) May 2004.
Predicting Performance of first year engineering students and the importance of assessment tools therein
This research paper by Lee, Harrison, Pell and Robinson presents statistical regression models which aim to predict overall first year mechanical engineering students' performance. Data was collected on overall first year mark against 14 variables. The regression models produced showed the positive effect of almost one grade boundary of students visiting the mathematics learning support centre. The paper is published in Engineering Education Vol.3 Issue 1.
Success in engineering mathematics through mathematics support and changes to engineering maths lectures at Harper Adams
This article by Sarah Parsons (Harper Adams University College) describes the positive effects on examination results of introducing mathematics support and implementing other changes. The article presents data which shows that significantly improved results followed from changes introduced in 2001 which included substantial mathematics support provision. However, because many other changes (changed content, separate lectures for some groups, diagnostic testing etc) were introduced at the same time it is not possible to isolate particular effects of the mathematics support provision. Nevertheless external examiner comments reflect the value of mathematics support. The article is published in MSOR Connections Feb 2005 Vol. 5 No.1.
The effectiveness of a special mathematics course for improving the transition from secondary education to higher professional education
This paper reports upon "the mathematics problem" experienced in some universities in the Netherlands. A mathematics course was designed to tackle the problem. The paper reports upon its effectiveness. The paper was presented as part of the SoTL conference through the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction. (The London Scholarship of Teaching and Learning 7th International Conference, Proceedings 2008, Volume 4 City University London ). Authors: Cees Terlouw, Rob de Goede, Marian Kienhuis.
The impact of the mathematics support centre on the grades of first year students at the National University of Ireland Maynouth
(FOR COPYRIGHT REASONS YOU MAY NOT BE ABLE TO ACCESS THIS LINK DIRECTLY.) This paper, by Mac an Bhaird, Morgan & O'Shea, is an analysis of first year students' grades in the academic year 2007-2008. We compared the grades of students who attended the MSC and those who did not. To compare students of similar abilities, we split the groups (First Arts and First Science) up into smaller groups depending on their grades (Leaving Cert) at the end of second level. There was a significant difference in all sub groups. We then expanded by comparing the grades of students depending on the results of their proficiency tests. Again there was a significant difference. All students seems to benefit from support but this is particularly true for 'at-risk' students.
Towards a culture of data collection & analysis
The past decade or so has seen a huge growth in the number of mathematics support centres within UK higher education institutions as they come to terms with an increasing volume of students who are poorly prepared for the mathematical demands of their chosen courses. In other parts of the world we observe similar developments. In the early years many centres were short-lived enterprises staffed either by concerned volunteers who found a few hours in the week to offer additional support, or alternatively by part-time staff on short-term contracts. More recently, we have observed a trend to more substantial support centres many of which attract central funding and dedicated staff. Given this trend there is a need to ask whether our efforts are worthwhile, how we might know this, and whether we can justify ongoing funding. This talk by TONY CROFT from Loughborough University at the 3rd Irish Workshop on Mathematics Learning Support Centres, NUI Maynooth will describe some of the challenges associated with acquiring data on effectiveness. Various ways in which we can measure our success will be explored. Finally, several exemplars will be provided of work being undertaken to capture the sort of evidence required to secure continued funding of mathematics support centres.
Towards a culture of data collection & analysis
The past decade or so has seen a huge growth in the number of mathematics support centres within UK higher education institutions as they come to terms with an increasing volume of students who are poorly prepared for the mathematical demands of their chosen courses. In other parts of the world we observe similar developments. In the early years many centres were short-lived enterprises staffed either by concerned volunteers who found a few hours in the week to offer additional support, or alternatively by part-time staff on short-term contracts. More recently, we have observed a trend to more substantial support centres many of which attract central funding and dedicated staff. Given this trend there is a need to ask whether our efforts are worthwhile, how we might know this, and whether we can justify ongoing funding. This talk by TONY CROFT of Loughborough University at Queensland University of Technology will describe some of the challenges associated with acquiring data on effectiveness. Various ways in which we can measure our success will be explored. Finally, several exemplars will be provided of work being undertaken to capture the sort of evidence required to secure continued funding of mathematics support centres.
Widening Participation in subjects requiring data handling skills: the MathsAid Project
FOR COPYRIGHT REASONS DIRECT ACCESS TO THIS PAPER MAY BE UNAVAILABLE. MathsAid is a university-wide maths support service offering one-to-one tutorial support and more. This paper by Atkins, May and Marks-Maran (Kingston University, UK) discusses the initiative and provides information about its evaluation by questionnaire, usage data and interviews with students. The paper is published in the Journal of Further and Higher Education, Vol. 29. No. 4 (2005) pp 353-365.