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Title: Approaches to studying and the effects of mathematics support on mathematical performance
Author: Patel, C.
Awarding Body: Coventry University
Current Institution: Coventry University
Date of Award: 2011
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The concern over undergraduate engineering students’ mathematical skills and the means of addressing this through the provision of mathematics support is the main driver of this research. With the emergence of mathematics support within mathematics education there has been an associated research community interested in measuring the effectiveness of mathematics support provision. Recent studies have measured improvements in mathematics performance for students who have used mathematics support against those who have not by comparing prior mathematical ability against examination results. This does not address the issue of individual differences between students and resulting changes in mathematical ability. However the provision of mathematics support for individual students is resource intensive hence evaluation of the effectiveness of the support is essential to ensure resources are efficiently used. This mathematics education research examines the effectiveness of mathematics support in addressing the mathematics problem. It does this by considering individual differences and the mismatch of mathematical skills for studying at University by analysing the effectiveness of mathematics support in improving mathematical skills. The dataset for the analysis comprises of over 1000 students from a Scottish Post-92 University, over 8% having made use of mathematics support, and nearly 2000 students from an English Russell Group University, with just over 10% having made use of the support. It was discovered that in both sets of data the students who came for mathematics support in comparison to their peers had a statistically significant lower mathematical skills base on entry to their course, and at the end of their first year had improved their mathematical skills base more than their counterparts. Although the analysis is based on data from UK Universities we believe the findings are relevant to the international community who are also engaged in the provision of mathematics support.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Mathematics education, Mathematics support, Mathematics ability, Higher Education, University education, Mathematics skills