Large-scale Delivery of Mathematics to Mixed-ability, Multidisciplinary Scientists in a Lockdown
Foundations of Numerical and Quantitative Methods for Scientists/Health are two modules that, between them, deliver foundational Mathematics to over 200 students in the Science and Health Foundation Years. With the onset of the Covid-19 lockdown, a technological solution was needed in order to build up both skills and confidence for students whose last experience of Mathematics may have been a C grade at GCSE level.
The cornerstone of the approach was Learning Pool, initially used as part of a project to integrate assessments with original and pre-existing materials relevant to a Mathematics and Computer Science module on logic and cryptography. In this case, the Learning Pool platform was used as a one-stop repository for course content, exercises and external resources. Every topic in the module was broken down into subtopics, for which students accessed videos and examples problems. These resources are then supported by formative progress checks, which the students self-assess and review in tutorial sessions. Additional in-situ support classes were arranged for those students who felt that they required extra help.
The online MS Teams tutorial sessions employed home-made visualisers or graphics tablets alongside MS Whiteboard to annotate work and explore topics, providing an experience similar to an in-situ class.