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Dr. Olivia Gill and Dr Máire Ní Ríordáin: The Evolving Role of Mathematics Learning Centres in Addressing Retention.
Dr. Olivia Gill and Dr Máire Ní Ríordáin: The Evolving Role of Mathematics Learning Centres in Addressing Retention.
Dr. Olivia Gill and Dr Máire Ní Ríordáin: The Evolving Role of Mathematics Learning Centres in Addressing Retention.
Dr. Olivia Gill and Dr Máire Ní Ríordáin: The Evolving Role of Mathematics Learning Centres in Addressing Retention.
Dr. Olivia Gill and Dr Máire Ní Ríordáin: The Evolving Role of Mathematics Learning Centres in Addressing Retention.
Dr. Olivia Gill and Dr Máire Ní Ríordáin: The Evolving Role of Mathematics Learning Centres in Addressing Retention.
Dr. Olivia Gill and Dr Máire Ní Ríordáin: The Evolving Role of Mathematics Learning Centres in Addressing Retention.
Dr. Olivia Gill and Dr Máire Ní Ríordáin: The Evolving Role of Mathematics Learning Centres in Addressing Retention.
Dr. Olivia Gill and Dr Máire Ní Ríordáin: The Evolving Role of Mathematics Learning Centres in Addressing Retention.
Dr. Olivia Gill and Dr Máire Ní Ríordáin: The Evolving Role of Mathematics Learning Centres in Addressing Retention.
Dr. Olivia Gill and Dr Máire Ní Ríordáin: The Evolving Role of Mathematics Learning Centres in Addressing Retention.
Dr. Olivia Gill and Dr Máire Ní Ríordáin: The Evolving Role of Mathematics Learning Centres in Addressing Retention.
Dr. Olivia Gill and Dr Máire Ní Ríordáin: The Evolving Role of Mathematics Learning Centres in Addressing Retention.
Dr. Olivia Gill and Dr Máire Ní Ríordáin: The Evolving Role of Mathematics Learning Centres in Addressing Retention.
Dr. Olivia Gill and Dr Máire Ní Ríordáin: The Evolving Role of Mathematics Learning Centres in Addressing Retention.
Dr. Olivia Gill and Dr Máire Ní Ríordáin: The Evolving Role of Mathematics Learning Centres in Addressing Retention.
Dr. Olivia Gill and Dr Máire Ní Ríordáin: The Evolving Role of Mathematics Learning Centres in Addressing Retention.
Dr. Olivia Gill and Dr Máire Ní Ríordáin: The Evolving Role of Mathematics Learning Centres in Addressing Retention.
Dr. Olivia Gill and Dr Máire Ní Ríordáin: The Evolving Role of Mathematics Learning Centres in Addressing Retention.
Dr. Olivia Gill and Dr Máire Ní Ríordáin: The Evolving Role of Mathematics Learning Centres in Addressing Retention.
Dr. Olivia Gill and Dr Máire Ní Ríordáin: The Evolving Role of Mathematics Learning Centres in Addressing Retention.
Dr. Olivia Gill and Dr Máire Ní Ríordáin: The Evolving Role of Mathematics Learning Centres in Addressing Retention.
Dr. Olivia Gill and Dr Máire Ní Ríordáin: The Evolving Role of Mathematics Learning Centres in Addressing Retention.
Dr. Olivia Gill and Dr Máire Ní Ríordáin: The Evolving Role of Mathematics Learning Centres in Addressing Retention.
Dr. Olivia Gill and Dr Máire Ní Ríordáin: The Evolving Role of Mathematics Learning Centres in Addressing Retention.
Dr. Olivia Gill and Dr Máire Ní Ríordáin: The Evolving Role of Mathematics Learning Centres in Addressing Retention.
Dr. Olivia Gill and Dr Máire Ní Ríordáin: The Evolving Role of Mathematics Learning Centres in Addressing Retention.
Dr. Olivia Gill and Dr Máire Ní Ríordáin: The Evolving Role of Mathematics Learning Centres in Addressing Retention.
Dr. Olivia Gill and Dr Máire Ní Ríordáin: The Evolving Role of Mathematics Learning Centres in Addressing Retention.
Dr. Olivia Gill and Dr Máire Ní Ríordáin: The Evolving Role of Mathematics Learning Centres in Addressing Retention.
Dr. Olivia Gill and Dr Máire Ní Ríordáin: The Evolving Role of Mathematics Learning Centres in Addressing Retention.
Dr. Olivia Gill and Dr Máire Ní Ríordáin: The Evolving Role of Mathematics Learning Centres in Addressing Retention.
Dr. Olivia Gill and Dr Máire Ní Ríordáin: The Evolving Role of Mathematics Learning Centres in Addressing Retention.
Dr. Olivia Gill and Dr Máire Ní Ríordáin: The Evolving Role of Mathematics Learning Centres in Addressing Retention.
Dr. Olivia Gill and Dr Máire Ní Ríordáin: The Evolving Role of Mathematics Learning Centres in Addressing Retention.
Dr. Olivia Gill and Dr Máire Ní Ríordáin: The Evolving Role of Mathematics Learning Centres in Addressing Retention.
Dr. Olivia Gill and Dr Máire Ní Ríordáin: The Evolving Role of Mathematics Learning Centres in Addressing Retention.
Dr. Olivia Gill and Dr Máire Ní Ríordáin: The Evolving Role of Mathematics Learning Centres in Addressing Retention.
Dr. Olivia Gill and Dr Máire Ní Ríordáin: The Evolving Role of Mathematics Learning Centres in Addressing Retention.
Dr. Olivia Gill and Dr Máire Ní Ríordáin: The Evolving Role of Mathematics Learning Centres in Addressing Retention.
Dr. Olivia Gill and Dr Máire Ní Ríordáin: The Evolving Role of Mathematics Learning Centres in Addressing Retention.
Dr. Olivia Gill and Dr Máire Ní Ríordáin: The Evolving Role of Mathematics Learning Centres in Addressing Retention.
Dr. Olivia Gill and Dr Máire Ní Ríordáin: The Evolving Role of Mathematics Learning Centres in Addressing Retention.
Dr. Olivia Gill and Dr Máire Ní Ríordáin: The Evolving Role of Mathematics Learning Centres in Addressing Retention.
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Dr. Olivia Gill and Dr Máire Ní Ríordáin: The Evolving Role of Mathematics Learning Centres in Addressing Retention.

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  • 1.
    • The Evolving Role of Mathematics Learning Centres in Addressing Retention
    • Olivia Gill
    • Máire Ní Riordáin
    • Mathematics Learning Centre
    • University of Limerick
  • 2. Contents
    • Introduction
    • In the Beginning
    • Today
    • Progress & Developments in MLC to Address Retention
    • Measuring Efficiency of MLC
    • Conclusion
  • 3. In the beginning….
    • 1997 Pilot study to assess levels of mathematical underpreparedness (JOD)
    • Diagnostic testing
      • 30% ‘at-risk’
    • Support tutorials for 2 Service Mathematics groups
      • Science Maths 1
      • Tech Maths 1
  • 4. In the beginning….
    • October 2001 – Drop-In Centre opened
      • 1 director
      • 1 manager
      • 1 tutor
      • Range of textbooks
      • Loughborough First Aid Kit for Engineers
    1921 1432 Number of Contacts (Visits/Attendances) 388 279 Number of Individual Students Availing of Support (Drop-In & Support Tutorials) Sem 2 Sem 1 2001/2002
  • 5. Today…..
    • 1 Director
    • 1 Manager
    • 17 postgraduate students from dept of Maths & Stats
    4767 Number of Contacts (Visits/Attendances) 1714 Number of Individual Students Availing of Support (Drop-In & Support Tutorials) 2006/2007 MLC Participation Rates
  • 6. Today…..
    • September 2008
    • 50% of Science Maths 1 and 50% of Tech Maths 1 failed the diagnostic test.
    • 195 Mature students ‘accepted’ into 1 st year in UL.
  • 7.
    • Progress and Developments in MLC to Address Retention
  • 8. Support Tutorials…
    • Acquired extra space….MLC tutorial room
    • Support Tutorials provided by MLC 2006/07
    •  
    1786 197 Total 1034 114 in 12 different modules (44 for Mature students) Semester 2 752 83 in 10 different modules (37 for Mature students) Semester 1 No. of Attendances at Support Tutorials No. of Support Tutorials Provided by MLC
  • 9. Online Support…
    • www.ul.ie/~mlc
    • July ‘07 – June ‘08: 1,024,730 ‘hits’
    • Almost 10,000 ‘visits’ recorded
    • (probably more)
  • 10. Online Support…
  • 11. Online Support…
  • 12. Online Support…
  • 13. Online Support…
  • 14. Revision for Exams..
    • Exam revision workshops held in week 13 for all main Service Mathematics courses
  • 15. Associated projects
    • EVLM (European Virtual Laboratory of Mathematics) with universities in Slovakia, the UK, Finland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Czech Rep., Spain ( http://www.ul.ie/evlm/ )
    • Regional CEMTL (Regional Centre for excellence in mathematics teaching and learning) with Mary I, Tralee IT, Limerick IT ( www.ul.ie/cemtl/ )
  • 16. Regional CEMTL…
    • ‘ To enhance the teaching and learning of mathematics in the region’
  • 17.   Regional CEMTL… Apple(t)s for Mathematics Teachers  
    • 70 applets created (GeoGebra)
    • 3 accompanying booklets produced
    • Workshops for pre-service teachers
    • Workshops for in-service secondary mathematics teachers
    • Pilot study – Junior Certificate Geometry
  • 18. Regional CEMTL…
    • Audit of Mathematics Support in Irish Third Level institutions
    • Leaving Certificate help desk for prospective engineering students
      • May 2008 - 4 workshops
        • 30 Students
      • November 2008 – April 2009 (19 workshops)
        • 60 Students (70 on waiting list)
  • 19. ‘ Head Start’ Maths…
    • UL August 2007 – 33 students
    • UL August 2008 – 27 students
    • Tralee IT, August 2008 – 16 students
  • 20. Head Start Maths - Aim
    • To ease the transition to third level education for Adult learners who are intending on returning to/starting college by:
      • revising essential mathematics skills they will need,
      • revising essential study skills by being part of a lecture/tutorial group,
      • meeting other Adult learners who are ‘in the same boat’,
      • giving the learners an induction to life at third level before crowds of students arrive back i.e. lectures, tutorials, finding their way around campus etc.
  • 21. Head Start Maths …
    • Notes and worksheets provided
      • Manager’s secondment with SIGMA in Coventry University
        • Creating a teaching and learning package consisting of a book of notes/manual with accompanying CD’s that students and teachers of mathematics can take home and keep.
        • This programme can then be taught to mature students in any third level institution over a period of a week before the students enter college.
  • 22. Head Start Maths - Structure Workshop Workshop Workshop Workshop 2.30-3.30 Chat Problem Solving Graphing Lines Equations Rational Numbers 1.30-2.30 H C N U L 12-1.30 Workshop Workshop Workshop Workshop Workshop 11-12 Logs & Indices Quadratics Factorising Algebra Number Systems 10-11 Fri Thur Wed Tue Mon Time
  • 23. What was good about Head Start Maths?
    • ‘ Very supportive staff and environment’
    • ‘ A good refresher and introduction to some common maths concepts’
    • ‘ It gave a chance to meet the mature students in my course’
    • ‘ It was a gentle introduction to college life’
    • ‘ The willingness of fellow students to help and advise’
    • ‘ Confidence building for tackling problems – major thing- and knowing support was present in time of trouble’
    • ‘ It was well organised and varied and a lot of notes helped when I went back over what I did in the evenings’.
    • Was a very good experience this week, with not doing maths for so long it was great to go back to the start and begin’
  • 24. Links with other MLC’s...
    • Established links…
    • Almost all MLC’s in Ireland
      • Advised DIT, DCU, Cork IT, Letterkenny IT, UCD, Limerick IT on setting up of MLCs
      • Hosted 2nd Irish Workshop on Maths Learning Centres (MLC 2007)
    • SIGMA -Centre of Excellence in Mathematics Teaching at Loughborough University and University of Coventry
      • HEMEC – mathematics education postgraduate forum
    • Freudenthal Institute, University of Utrecht
  • 25. Metrics for measuring success
  • 26. Student numbers/uptake   Sem 1 01/02 Sem 2 01/02 Sem 1 02/03 Sem 2 02/03 Sem 1 03/04 Sem 2 03/04 Sem 1 04/05 Sem 2 04/05 Sem 1 05/06 Sem 2 0 5 /06 No. individual students availing of support services 279 388 600 490 698 919 1011 1308 988 1408 No. of support Service contacts 1432 1921 1592 1293 2093 2878 2457 2757 2984 3029
  • 27. Department and College participation
    • MLC services
      • Over 18 departments in UL (Kemmy Business School & Engineering Depts. are most frequent users)
      • All UL Colleges (Colleges of Business, Engineering and Science are biggest clients)
  • 28. Independent reviews
    • “ The large majority of the students questioned were extremely positive in the feedback provided about the Maths Learning Centre. They fall into two categories- those who rely on the MLC for backup and those who rely on the centre as a fundamental part of the maths learning curriculum. To those students who rely on the MLC for backup, the centre offers tutorial help as well as extra grinds around the exam period. The second group contains a majority of mature students or students studying on the U.L Access course. Many of these students have been away from formal education for anything from 2 – 30 years and find themselves falling into a learning gap. These students state that the MLC was an ideal resource and in many cases state that it is a fundamentally important one” (Moore, 2004).
  • 29. Independent reviews UL Student Quotes
    • “ I am extremely thankful to the MLC for all the help they have given me and view them as an essential part of my course”
    • “ No one ever made me feel that I was stupid, they were great to help”
    • “ I don’t think it can be enhanced as I think it is great as it is”
    • “ Very supportive no matter how small/big of a problem you have”
    • “ Very helpful and essential, especially to a mature student in the first semester”
    • “ Essential for mature students out of education for a long time.”
  • 30. External department reviews
    • MLC commended in Quality Review of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics in 2004.
    • Recommended that the University would guarantee the continued existence of the Centre if the targeted HEA funding ceased.
  • 31. Retention/grades 3.3 % 4.3 % 6.1 % 4.3 % D1, D2, F Bus Maths 2 16.3 % 10.6 % 19.4 % 29.8 % D1, D2, F Tech Maths 2 9.8 % 10.6 % 21.1 % 37.7 % D1, D2, F Eng Maths 1 10.9% 15.3% 18.7% 29.4% D1, D2, F Science Maths 1 AY 03/04 AY 02/03 AY 01/02 AY 00/01 Grades Module
  • 32. Retention/grades End of year mathematics grades of at risk students who attended/did not attend support tutorials
  • 33. Research output
    • 2006/07
    • 4 MSc’s
    • 2 PhD’s
    • 2008
    • 2 PhD’s
    • 5 PhD’s currently registered
  • 34. Development & expansion
    • Extra space
    • Improvements to MLC website and online support
    • Promotional/publicity materials
  • 35. NCE -MSTL
    • National Centre for Excellence - Mathematics and Science Teaching and Learning
  • 36. President’s Volunteer Programme (PVP) - Maths
    • One-to-one maths tutorial support for disadvantaged secondary school students.
    • Run in conjunction with the College of Science & Engineering (UL), the NCE-MSTL, the Maths Learning Centre and ACCESS.
    • Commitment of one session per week for 1 ½ hrs on a Tuesday evening.
  • 37. Outline of Programme
    • Maths tutors sourced at UL – volunteers from PE & Maths degree (3rd years) and from Engineering degrees (2nd years).
    • Maths tutors completed HSE child protection course, tutor training course and Garda vetting.
    • Maths students sourced through the After School Study Club held in the ACCESS campus in Roxboro.
    • Maths ranges from Junior to Leaving Cert, across all three levels – Foundation, Ordinary and Higher Level.
  • 38. Benefits for Volunteers
    • Personal development.
    • Awarded the President’s Volunteer Programme Certification
    • Excellent for career development.
    • President’s Volunteer Programme is recognised by industry as a corporate social responsibility initiative
    • All training and courses provided for the tutors by UL.
  • 39. Benefits for Students
    • Free one-on-one maths tuition provided by excellent maths tutors.
    • Maths resources in place for students.
    • Access to 3rd level education.
    • Awarded the President’s Volunteer Programme Certification after each semester.
  • 40. Weekly Requirement
    • Prepared to commit to one session per week for
    • 1 ½ hrs on a Tuesday evening throughout the programme.
    • Tuition provided across a range of syllabi.
    • Secondary school students arrive at 5pm to the Maths Learning Centre (MLC).
    • Tea/coffee sandwiches provided for the students/tutors.
    • One-to-one tutorials provided by volunteers from 5.30 to 7pm.
  • 41. So far…
    • Semester 1 completed.
    • Great success – both tutors and students gaining from participating in the programme.
    • Presentation of certificates and recognition of weekly commitment by the volunteers and students thus far.
    • PVP to continue in Semester 2 of the AY2008/’09.
  • 42. Role of MLCs
    • Similar programmes to be established in MLCs in other 3 rd level institutions through the work of the NCE-MSTL.
    • Provide resource packs and information on the establishment and running of similar programmes.
    • Contact – [email_address]
    • (Senior Projects Officer-Mathematics)
  • 43. Conclusion
    • Increase in student attendance year by year
    • Number of programmes serviced
    • Expressed levels of satisfaction by students and client departments
    • Evidence of improved grades/retention
    • Contribution to overall quality of mathematics teaching in UL and in region
    • Website development
    • Relevant research output
    • National reputation and standing in mathematics learner support/service mathematics teaching
  • 44. Conclusion
    • Positive outcomes/factors are indications of a job well done!!!
    • Thank you!!

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