Building Academic Numeracy
About the project
This project evaluates a pilot intervention programme that aims to develop student numeracy and address the concern that many students enter university with low mathematics competency and experience difficulties with quantitative papers.
The aims are to investigate the numeracy competency of undergraduate students, close to the start of their degree, and to evaluate a pilot intervention programme designed to develop students’ mathematical knowledge, skills, and confidence.
Design / Methodology
Students starting a degree programme with a compulsory quantitative component will complete an online numeracy assessment.
Students with a low numeracy score will be invited to join an academic numeracy development programme. This intervention programme will be delivered in weekly, two-hour workshops throughout the year.
It will be faciliated by a specialist mathematics educator. The programme aims to develop a base of mathematics knowledge and skills that students can build on.
It is designed on a growth mind-set model to address affective barriers to learning and improve students’ confidence in learning and using mathematics.
The pilot will be evaluated to provide efficacy of the intervention. Student outcomes including engagement, academic performance and progression will be tracked.
Qualitative data from students, advisers, and educators will enhance our understanding of the outcomes for students and improve our confidence in the quatitative measures of academic performance.
The project evaluates a pilot programme offering targeted learning support to assist the transition of undergraduate students into programmes with a compulsory quantitative component.
The programme aims to improve students’ experience, academic achievement and retention. If successful, the pilot has the potential to be up-scaled and adopted across the University and other universities.
The project will contribute to research on students’ mathematical compentency and the effectiveness of interventions. The outcomes will be useful for learners, educators and education policy-makers.
Univeristy of Otago
- Brigid Casey, Project Leader (pictured right)
- Dr Chris Linsell
- Associate Professor Clinton Golding
- Stewart Hibbert
- Dr Jon Shemmell
Highlights (20 July 2017)
- Learners are aware of their numeracy competency, assisting them to make the decision to join the Building Academic Numeracy intervention programme
- The small cohort of learners in the intervention allows for individual teaching, collaborative learning, and a friendly, inclusive learning environment.
- Learners in the intervention are becoming confident and asking questions. The specialist mathematics educator observed that learners are developing conceptual understanding and mathematics skills.
- Educators involved with the quantitative papers in the target academic programme are more aware of the numeracy challenges affecting some learners in the cohort.
- Academics from another science department requested a small group of learners join the intervention.
- Regular feedback, reflection, and discussion have informed improvements to the intervention and communication with stakeholders.
If you would like to learn more about the project contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ako Aotearoa $10,000 (excl. GST)
- University of Otago $20,307 (excl. GST)
- Project commenced: Start 2017
- Expected project completion: Mid 2018