▷ UNIVERSITY OF DERBY BRIDGES COMPUTING DIFFICULTIES WITH INTERACTIVE COMPUTING TOOLS, …


27.01.2022 – 18:38

Vretta Inc.

Derby, England (ots/PRNewswire)

Numerical sense is the ability to deal with numbers competently and confidently, especially in practical contexts. For example, basic math topics like fractions, decimals, percentages, ratios, and simple algebra are used in almost every profession, not just specialized fields like science and engineering. However, recent reports show that 17 million adults in England (49% of the working-age population) have numeracy skills that are more likely to be expected of primary school children. This costs the economy £20 billion a year!

the University of Derby is in the heart of England, a region known for technology and innovation, and has around 20,000 students. The university offers a wide range of industry-related undergraduate, undergraduate and postgraduate courses, and frequently works with the many international companies based in the East Midlands, such as Rolls-Royce, Toyota and Bombardier. For the past three years, the university has been pursuing a project that is intended to close the gap in the arithmetic skills of its students. In this way, she wants to improve the career prospects of all students and, in particular, increase their chances of filling highly qualified positions.

In the 2018-2019 academic year, the University, in collaboration with Vretta the award-winning assessment and learning solution Elevate My Maths (EMM) adapted, developed and used to diagnose and improve the computational skills of College of Engineering and Technology students. Among the students involved in the pilot project, mathematics performance increased by 14% in calculus, 17% in calculus and 20% in mathematics for computer applications in Derby and by 39% in Athens. EMM also helped reduce math anxiety and boosted student confidence, with more mature students finding EMM particularly helpful.

The success of the pilot project led to the rollout of EMM across the university to help develop students’ numeracy skills and increase their chances of success in their degree programs, including outside of STEM subjects. Together with Vretta and faculty from the fields of engineering, apprenticeship, psychology, finance, accounting, business and education, the university developed ten numeracy courses tailored to the needs of all students. Courses are delivered in modules/programs via a virtual learning environment or can be accessed via the Maths Skills Library page. Teachers can monitor progress with live dashboards and provide feedback to students. EMM has already been used by more than 1,500 students across the university. Over 400 students have received digital badges for successfully completing their course.

This project has been presented at various learning and teaching conferences, including the Teaching and Learning Mathematics Online (TALMO) conference, the E-Assessment in Mathematical Sciences (EAMS) conference, and the Association for Learning Technology (ALT) conference. Of particular interest are the effects in the Dr. Ovidiu Bagdasar computer mathematics courses taught at the University of Derby some years after the introduction of EMM.

Prior to the introduction of EMM, first pass rates were consistently between 83% and 86%, while the percentage of good grades (60% or more) ranged from 58% to 61%. The introduction of EMM resulted in a first pass rate of 89%, with overall good grades still at 60%. After the integration of EMM into the virtual learning environment and the introduction of the tailor-made courses D1: Fundamentals and D2: Algebra, Measurements and Geometry in the school year 2019-20, first pass rates stabilized at 89% and good grades increased to 70-73% . For those students who passed both math courses (D1 and D2) with 40% or better, module pass rates were 98% and 96% in 2019-20 and 96% in 2020-21, while good grades rose to 87% and 83%, respectively.

The launch of Elevate My Maths has shown that the numeracy gap at university has closed and student confidence has increased. The university is currently working with Vretta to extend the project to all relevant modules and programs at the university and to share best practices in promoting academic success with other educational institutions in the UK and internationally.

Jacob Pucar, Marketing Manager, 416 888 2011, [email protected]

Original content from: Vretta Inc., transmitted by news aktuell


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