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Using Flexible Learning to Cure the QM Malaise. Michaela Cottee, Amanda Relph and Karen Robins University of Hertfordshire Business School(UH). Objectives. What we have found so far. Student comments.

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using flexible learning to cure the qm malaise

Using Flexible Learning to Cure the QM Malaise

Michaela Cottee, Amanda Relph and Karen Robins

University of Hertfordshire Business School(UH)

what we have found so far
What we have found so far

Student comments

“each new topic is always broken down well with plenty of examples to be worked which I feel … is the easiest way to understand numerical concepts”

“delivery and interaction with students during lectures, could be improved in order to enable a greater enjoyment and understanding relating to that particular module”

“I think EVS is a good idea, as it makes students visit the lecture slides again instead of leaving it all till revision”

what we have found so far1
What we have found so far
  • Students (from questionnaires)
  • Are worried well, just need a supplement for confidence and reassurance;
  • are confident of their abilities and unaware of their weaknesses;
  • want dedicatedsupport from their moduleleader, but fail to ask for it;
  • Wanted a variety of different support mechanisms;
  • 30% unaware of the numeracytest;
  • Cannot use mathematical functions in Excel
what we have found so far2
What we have found so far

“what I find helps enormously are the tutorial sheets that you can practice, and then go to the tutorial and go through the calculations with the tutor … I found it was something that didn't require extra reading, just practicing over and over again”

“you may get stuck on a question and the only way of solving this is by asking the tutor at the end of the tutorial, so in that sense they are happy to support. In terms of extra support, there could be a few maths classes prior to exam time.”

what we have found so far3
What we have found so far

“the length to learnnumeracy for our modules was very limited, i.e. three weeks, there was not enough support to give us to give us confidence to succeed with the numeracy module”

“lecturers should not rush while explaining what they want us to do for Numeracy in our courses, as it has been a while to catch up with our mathematical experience through school and/or college”

what we have found so far4
What we have found so far

“My opinion of the delivery and material within my QM module is that it was enough to meet the criteria of the module but allowed no room for students to stand out, we were being taught a relatively easy standard of statistics that doesn't really give anything spectacular for me to put on applications for internships next summer”

“Resources were limited to a vague textbook outline and that's about it, I would prefer to be told about a really good book external to the university which clearly explains mathematical processes which I may use in a career; not just in a numeracy module in first year”

what we have found so far5
What we have found so far

“make lectures more engaging, make more examples when teaching a topic such as measures of location with real life examples ”

“there are not many booksthat can explain topics that the course covers. Our lecturer did suggest a textbook however they did say it was worded poorly and so put me off looking for the textbook”

what we have found so far6
What we have found so far

“the numeracy module was extremely useful, having not studied ‘math’ or utilized the skills learnt from GCSE math’s for exceeding 2 years”

“The only change I would make to the module, is to spend more than 3 weeks on the topic, as having numeracy and quantitative skills is one of the key skills which graduate employers require in particularly during the recruitment process where we would be required to take an aptitude test”

recent quants test results
Recent Quants Test Results

Can easily identify the questions/topics which students struggle with, but many problems are more fundamental and include:

  • Applying BODMAS
  • Expanding brackets
  • Rearranging terms
  • Attention to details (eg. signs and lines)
  • Recognising the problem type
  • Coping with mixed units (eg. £ and p)
gaps in knowledge of provision
Gaps in knowledge of provision
  • Topics
    • Very hard to get one list
    • repetition and terminology issues
  • From staff
    • Pre-knowledge
    • No recall
    • Unable to transfer skills and knowledge
table discussion
Table discussion
  • Discuss which areas of quantitative methods need urgent support;
  • Consider student preference on the type of flexible learning.
flexible learning opportunities at uh
Flexible Learning Opportunities at UH
  • Modules
    • regular assessment throughout the module
  • ASU website
  • Support tutors
  • Additional workshops
  • Numeracy support in core skills module
  • Distance / Blended Learning modules
table discussion1
Table discussion

Exchange views on how to provide formative assessment, feedback and support to students for quantitative methods.

we are hoping to gain
We are hoping to gain
  • Not to reinvent the wheel;
  • Use reusable learning objects, free educational software;
  • Discuss what works well and what doesn’t.
useful websites
Useful Websites

Mathcentre (OER)

– developed by a number of universities,

Quick reference leaflets, video tutorials, teach yourself booklets, practice and revision, online tests

Maths Solutions – University of Leeds

Features experienced teachers demonstrating solutions to a series of maths problems.


useful websites1
Useful Websites
  • Score (Support Centre Open Resources in Education)

  • FETLAR (OER) Finding Electronic Learning and assessment resources. HEA/JISc/OER Project (£250K)provides e-learning content and infrastructure to deliver end-to-end electronic assessment to students within a VLE
  • eAA e-Assessment Association

hea event
HEA Event
  • Multi-platform Open Educational Resources (OER), Maths/Stats/NumeracyUniversity of Newcastle, 8th June 2012

Thank you!

Any questions?