Maths Support for Science: A Blended and Online Development Project

Paschke, B., Ahmed, S., Milne, S. and Lapthorn, A. (2017) Maths Support for Science: A Blended and Online Development Project. Horizons in STEM Higher Education Conference: Making Connections and Sharing Pedagogy, Edinburgh, Scotland, 29-30 Jun 2017.

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Confidence and fluency in mathematics are necessary qualities for science graduates across the whole range of science subjects. Maths is crucial to explore demanding new scientific concepts, to quantify observations accurately and presenting results in science. The University of Glasgow prides itself on accepting students from a diverse range of backgrounds into its science programs, but as a result these students have a wide range of mathematical experience and ability. Of particular concern are students who are weak at maths and others who lack some of the basic skills necessary for a successful undergraduate experience at Glasgow. Currently, either Chemistry 1 or Science Fundamentals make up one of the compulsory course choices for Life Sciences students. Our experience from the Science Fundamentals course is that traditional lectures are a poor way to enhance the mathematical skills of the students and the more collaborative models of teaching such as online and blended learning may be more appropriate. The aim of this two-year project is to combine the School of Chemistry’s ongoing plans to roll out mathematical support provision to early years whilst at the same time addressing the ongoing challenges encountered with the teaching of mathematics to the Science Fundamentals cohort. We are in the process of creating a bank of suitable mathematical questions to assess the mathematical skills initially to all level-1 Biology and Chemistry students (~800 students) and to develop a suite of support resources which will be largely delivered online to support learning/revision of suitable concepts. In addition to these resources, students requiring additional support will be identified and provided with further support through bespoke face-to-face workshops and study groupings. In this talk we will discuss the implementation and evaluation of our pilot topic and also touch upon plans for the next year.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Paschke, Dr Beth and Ahmed, Mrs Shazia and Lapthorn, Dr Adrian and Milne, Dr Susan
Authors: Paschke, B., Ahmed, S., Milne, S., and Lapthorn, A.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Chemistry
University Services > Learning and Teaching Services Division

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