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Noel-Ann Bradshaw University of Greenwich University of Greenwich Maths Café.

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Presentation on theme: "Noel-Ann Bradshaw University of Greenwich University of Greenwich Maths Café."— Presentation transcript:

1 Noel-Ann Bradshaw University of Greenwich University of Greenwich Maths Café

2 Aims of Workshop To explain: what we are doing why we are doing it how it has worked.

3 Situation Faced Wide ability range of students – both ends of the spectrum Need to help students that are struggling Need to stretch more confident students Need to get to know students Need them to be better at social interaction with peers and staff

4 Our response Weekly drop in session Space to get help on tutorial questions Opportunities to play strategy games with peers and staff Common room feel A place where maths is gossiped about Some visiting speakers Initially funded by University grant

5 Maths Cafés elsewhere Portsmouth Brunel Leeds Warwick Provides support to maths students through the Maths Society Provide maths support to non-mathematics students across the University

6 Maths support Students making the transition from school to university and wishing to study quantitative subjects may not be adequately prepared. There is therefore a responsibility for universities to put in place appropriate support mechanisms to ease this transition phase. Celia Hoyles, 2010, Mathematics and the Transition from School to University.

7 Support

8 Strategy games

9 Student Feedback

10 Friendly I must admit I felt somewhat dubious about the word enjoyable being used but Im glad to say I was quickly proved wrong. Its such a laid back and friendly environment to work in and be a part of and a really good way to meet people and get to know the lecturers in a more informal environment.

11 Fun I have been to nearly every Maths Café session, as I love both the company and the games and fun I have whilst I am there. The people who were once strangers to me when I first started are now some of my closest friends.

12 Help I like to go to the Maths Café because all of my tutors attend it, so if I need any kind of help to solve any subject related or a coursework problem, I can directly ask them there. I decided to go Maths Café so I could revise for the calculus class test and thats when I saw that there were many activities being held there. I didnt really go there to learn, I just went there to relax and revise and I think I liked it for that.

13 Lucky Could we have an extra hour for Maths Café? I enjoy the interaction of lectures and students not only first year students; we also have third year students with whom we can chat about the course and ask for advice. To be honest all I can say is that I am pretty lucky to have this opportunity to find help in times of struggle.

14 Staff Feedback Personally I found the Maths Café invaluable It helped to develop staff-student relations The students realise you are just a normal person Many staff have been involved and it has undoubtedly helped us all to know our students better Playing games challenges staff and students alike (and they like it when they beat us!)

15 Evaluation Originally set up with University grant This next year funding from HESTEM to extend project Attended this year by approx 30 students each week Early days but it seems to have improved first year engagement and attainment

16 First Year Attainment First year pass rate for courses has increased. Yet there are nearly twice as many students as last year.

17 Is this transferable? Either is this something that is needed to help non-maths students with maths? AND/OR Is there a similar session that you could provide to ease the transition and to aid retention and attainment in your subject?

18 Thank you for listening Any questions?

19 References Pevy, L., 2008. The Portsmouth University Maths Café – Making a Virtue of Necessity. [Online]. Available at: scafe/information/filetodownload,97161,en.pdf scafe/information/filetodownload,97161,en.pdf Accessed: 3rd May 2011 Hoyles, C., 2010. Mathematics and the Transition from School to University. In, MSOR (HEA Maths, Stats and OR Network), Responding to the Mathematics Problem: The Implementation of Institutional Support Mechanisms. [Online]. Available at: upportvolumefinal.pdf Accessed: 3rd May 2011 upportvolumefinal.pdf

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