Increasing student success, engagement and retention through a novel approach to mathematics support

Gallimore, Michael and Stewart, Jill and Lawrence, Jonathan (2012) Increasing student success, engagement and retention through a novel approach to mathematics support. In: HEA What Works?, 28-29 March 2012, University of York.

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Abstract

The ever growing gap between secondary and university level mathematics is now becoming a major concern to higher education institutions. The increase in diversity of students’ background in mathematics, from students who have studied the more traditional A-level programmes to students with BTEC or international qualifications and part-time students who have been out of education for long periods, means that they are often unprepared for the marked shift in levels and catering for all abilities is difficult in the normal lecture, tutorial format. Lack of sufficient mathematical knowledge not only affects students’ success on courses but also leads to disengagement and thus a high drop-out rate in the first 2 years of study. Many universities now offer a maths support service in an attempt to overcome this but their success is varied. This paper presents a novel approach to maths support designed and adopted by the University of Lincoln, School of Engineering, to bridge this transition gap for students, offer continued support through assessment for learning (AFL) and ultimately increase student success, engagement and retention. The paper uses a method based on value-added to measure student achievement and shows that, with the proposed support system in place, there is a marked increase in student value-added along with an increase in student engagement and retention measured through student feedback and presented retention data.

Keywords:Mathematics Support
Subjects:X Education > X990 Education not elsewhere classified
Divisions:College of Science > School of Engineering
ID Code:11821
Deposited On:11 Sep 2013 13:55

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