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DIT Students’ Maths Learning Centre: Providing Online Mathematical Support. Eabhnat Ní Fhloinn Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland 24 th May 2007. Overview of Presentation. SMLC Support Systems Overview of Online Support More Details on WebCT Usage Challenges of Online Maths.
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DIT Students’ Maths Learning Centre: Providing Online Mathematical Support Eabhnat Ní Fhloinn Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland 24th May 2007
Overview of Presentation • SMLC Support Systems • Overview of Online Support • More Details on WebCT Usage • Challenges of Online Maths
How does SMLC provide support? • DIT is multi-campus institute • Two-fold approach needed 1. One-to-one tuition through drop-in sessions 2. E-learning support through online resources
Overview of Online Resources • DIT uses WebCT (password-protected intranet) • Separate SMLC WebCT site for each faculty • Tailored to suit needs of students • Revision notes on common topics • Self-tests on problem areas • Recommended textbooks • Relevant articles
Overview of Online Resources • Not all faculties/depts use WebCT equally • Website also available: http://www.maths.dit.ie/mlc/homepage.htm • Much the same resources as on WebCT • Less notes and articles (restricted) • Resources cannot be tailored as much
Revision Notes on WebCT • Two types of notes on SMLC WebCT: • Notes from www.mathcentre.ac.uk • Notes developed by SMLC • Engineering Maths First Aid Kit very suitable for DIT students • Business Quick Reference Notes less so
Interesting Point to Note • Students who make most use of WebCT (50+ hits) do not attend drop-in sessions • Valuable insights to be gained from them… …but only by jeopardising perceived anonymity • WebCT communication tools allow students to comment, but little response
Challenges of Online Maths • Weaker students do not know names / categories of topics • Difficulty using online resources independently • Possible solution: Self-tests which direct students to particular worksheet based on errors made
Complications of Self-Tests Online • Need to be in multiple-choice format as student cannot enter symbol like x2 … …without agreeing “code” such as x^2 in advance • Students attending SMLC already have problems with maths • Need for user-friendly software to allow easy inclusion of maths
Conclusion • Usage of SMLC online resources continues to grow • Seems to meet need for particular types of students who don’t use drop-in sessions • Hope in future to extend self-tests for all students and online notes for Business area