Diarmuid O Se: Providing extra academic support in Mathematics to First Year computing students in IT Carlow.


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Diarmuid O Se: Providing extra academic support in Mathematics to First Year computing students in IT Carlow.

  1. 1. Providing Extra Academic Support in Mathematics to First Year Computing Students Diarmuid Ó Sé Computing and Networking Department, IT Carlow. Diarmuid Ó Sé IT Carlow
  2. 2. Theme of this Workshop <ul><li>‘ Is Mathematics Support Worthwhile’ </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Challenges of measuring effectiveness’ </li></ul>Diarmuid Ó Sé IT Carlow
  3. 3. Presentation Outline <ul><li>Background </li></ul><ul><li>Experience </li></ul><ul><li>Reflections – ‘Measuring effectiveness’ </li></ul>Diarmuid Ó Sé IT Carlow
  4. 4. Background <ul><li>‘ ...numbers studying IT courses have fallen sharply in recent years’ (HEA Progress Report 2002-2007. Improving enrolment in computing and electronic engineering) </li></ul><ul><li>Required annual growth of 5.6% in IT occupations every year to 2020. (Task Force. (2005). Engineering a Knowledge Island in 2020) </li></ul>Diarmuid Ó Sé IT Carlow
  5. 5. Background <ul><li>‘ Information Technology Investment Fund’ (HEA). </li></ul><ul><li>C omputing A nd N etworking (CAN) – ‘Drop in’ centre for first year students – 2003 to 2008 (  December 2009 ? ) – One Lecturer + Capitol funding – ½ Maths + ½ Programming – Available 9a.m. to 5p.m. (Mon to Fri) </li></ul>Diarmuid Ó Sé IT Carlow
  6. 6. Background <ul><li>CAN First Years </li></ul><ul><li>B.Sc. Computer Games Development (L8) - Minimum Maths Requirement - 345 -> 300 points (cut-off) - 40 First Years </li></ul><ul><li>Higher Certificate IT Support (L6) - Non CAO entry (Mature Students) - 0 First Year students </li></ul>Diarmuid Ó Sé IT Carlow
  7. 7. Background <ul><li>CAN First Years </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Common First Year (L6, L7, L8) - Software Development (L7 & L8) - Computer IT Management (L7 & L8) - Computer Networking (L6) - L6 AQA (40 students) - L7 205 points (30 students) - L8 325 points (10 students) - No special Maths requirement - 80 Students </li></ul></ul>Diarmuid Ó Sé IT Carlow
  8. 8. Background <ul><li>CAN First Years </li></ul><ul><li>Overall - 120 students - low points - Poor self-efficacy in Maths </li></ul>Diarmuid Ó Sé IT Carlow
  9. 9. Experience <ul><li>‘ Drop in’ idea was not the most efficient: - Student Timetable - Wrong Lecturer present at visit </li></ul><ul><li>Appointments System by e-mail - Promotion and Proactive </li></ul>Diarmuid Ó Sé IT Carlow
  10. 10. Experience <ul><li>Promotion </li></ul><ul><li>Open Days </li></ul><ul><li>Induction </li></ul><ul><li>Class visits (beginning of 2 nd week + flier) </li></ul><ul><li>General Group e-mails </li></ul><ul><li>First Year Lecturers </li></ul>Diarmuid Ó Sé IT Carlow
  11. 11. Experience <ul><li>Pro-action </li></ul><ul><li>Attendance Record (phone call & email) - 2 weeks in - 6 weeks in - 2 weeks after Christmas - at request of other lecturers </li></ul><ul><li>Database available to all First Year Lecturers </li></ul>Diarmuid Ó Sé IT Carlow
  12. 12. Experience <ul><li>Pro-action </li></ul><ul><li>Academic Performance (General Discussion) </li></ul><ul><li>- 8 weeks in - after Christmas - after Easter </li></ul><ul><li>Academic Performance (Maths Tuition) - Immediately after assessment results are published -2 weeks before the next assessment </li></ul>Diarmuid Ó Sé IT Carlow
  13. 13. Experience <ul><li>Issues/Problems </li></ul><ul><li>Student visits during their class time </li></ul><ul><li>No Shows </li></ul><ul><li>Substitution versus Support </li></ul><ul><li>Tracking Attendance </li></ul><ul><li>Tracking Assessment Performance </li></ul><ul><li>Generic Study Skills support </li></ul>Diarmuid Ó Sé IT Carlow
  14. 14. Experience <ul><li>Issues/Solutions </li></ul><ul><li>Engineer a supportive Timetable </li></ul><ul><li>Keep Lecturers Informed of who visits </li></ul><ul><li>Keep ourselves informed by Lecturers </li></ul><ul><li>Common Access Spreadsheet </li></ul><ul><li>Keep records (time!!) </li></ul>Diarmuid Ó Sé IT Carlow
  15. 15. Experience <ul><li>Supporting Maths Learning (Operational) </li></ul><ul><li>one to one versus tutorial groups </li></ul><ul><li>not just in Maths Modules </li></ul><ul><li>location </li></ul>Diarmuid Ó Sé IT Carlow
  16. 16. Experience <ul><li>Supporting Maths Learning </li></ul><ul><li>(Pedagogical) </li></ul><ul><li>dealing from ‘ math anxiety’ to ‘ mastery’ </li></ul><ul><li>take a different approach to lecturer but use the similar examples </li></ul><ul><li>Follow on support contingent on homework </li></ul><ul><li>draw on their own current level of knowledge and understanding </li></ul>Diarmuid Ó Sé IT Carlow
  17. 17. Experience <ul><li>Supporting Maths Learning </li></ul><ul><li>(Pedagogical) </li></ul><ul><li>cater for different learning styles. </li></ul><ul><li>encourage peer learning </li></ul><ul><li>keep students involved and active. </li></ul><ul><li>Homework and written feedback. </li></ul>Diarmuid Ó Sé IT Carlow
  18. 18. Reflections <ul><li>Changing Academic Environment </li></ul><ul><li>Suite of available courses </li></ul><ul><li>Number of first year students (70  140) </li></ul><ul><li>Common First Year – no end-of-year exams (Sept. 2005) </li></ul><ul><li>More diverse student population (15%  30%) - Access - Mature - International </li></ul>Diarmuid Ó Sé IT Carlow
  19. 19. Reflections <ul><li>Statistics - Maths visits </li></ul><ul><li>25% to 35% of first year students </li></ul><ul><li>110 to 150 visits </li></ul><ul><li>mean of 3 to 4 visits per visiting student </li></ul><ul><li>ranging from 1 to 15 visits per student </li></ul>Diarmuid Ó Sé IT Carlow
  20. 20. Reflections <ul><li>Statistics – Progression into 2 nd Year </li></ul><ul><li>40% to 55% of registered (Oct 1 st Year 1) progress to 2 nd year. </li></ul><ul><li>Increase in overall exam pass rate from: 52% to 75% </li></ul><ul><li>40% to 75% visited the centre </li></ul><ul><li>Increase in pass rate for maths from: 65% to 82% </li></ul>Diarmuid Ó Sé IT Carlow
  21. 21. Reflections <ul><li>Statistics – 2 nd Years Self Evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>20% to 44% would not be in 2 nd year without the support centre </li></ul><ul><li>10 to 17 percentage point increase in throughput </li></ul>Diarmuid Ó Sé IT Carlow
  22. 22. Reflections <ul><li>‘ Collateral Retention’ </li></ul><ul><li>Computer Games Development (L8): (05-06) - 21 out of 52 did not make 2 nd year - semi-structured phone interview - 17 out of 21 responded </li></ul><ul><li>Indicator but not a determinant - Leaving Cert Points - Leaving Cert Maths </li></ul>Diarmuid Ó Sé IT Carlow
  23. 23. Reflections <ul><li>‘ Collateral Retention’ </li></ul><ul><li>Main Barrier - Programming 25% - Maths 25% </li></ul><ul><li>6 from the 17 on other IT Carlow Full-Time programmes </li></ul><ul><li>3 from 17 repeating (temp work) </li></ul>Diarmuid Ó Sé IT Carlow
  24. 24. Reflections <ul><li>‘ Collateral Retention’ </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Drop in Centre’ support means that, from an Institute wide perspective, retention rates have improved. </li></ul>Diarmuid Ó Sé IT Carlow
  25. 25. THANKS FOR LISTENING <ul><li>QUESTIONS/COMMENTS </li></ul><ul><li>? </li></ul>Diarmuid Ó Sé IT Carlow