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Bridging the study gap: Provision of support for mathematics students during breaks in study

Pawley, Susan and Hughes, Chris (2018). Bridging the study gap: Provision of support for mathematics students during breaks in study. New Directions in the Teaching of Physical Sciences, 13(1)

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Many STEM subjects are strongly hierarchical: learning and progression depends upon threshold concepts and retained knowledge from previous study. To help progress learning, support can be offered during regular study periods, but what happens during breaks between studies? The requirement to provide continuity during study breaks is recognised as vital in assisting students to bridge the knowledge gap and have the best chance of success.

At the Open University, we have found that over 64% of students studying one of our second level mathematics modules completed the prerequisite module over a year before starting the module. During this gap, their use of techniques required to study effectively may have become “rusty”. Even students who progress immediately find there are study holes where some of the retained knowledge has been lost.

We describe the creation of a ‘Revise and Refresh’ support program that helped our students revise and refresh the knowledge required to study our level two module successfully.

Item Type: Journal Item
ISSN: 2051-3615
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Supporting MST224 students with bridging material during their transition from level one mathematicsNot SetThe Open University (OU)
Keywords: Study support; Distance learning; Mathematics; Drop-in centre
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Mathematics and Statistics
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Research Group: eSTEeM
Item ID: 59312
Depositing User: Susan Pawley
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2019 14:10
Last Modified: 30 Mar 2019 10:19
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