Developing “use value mindsets” to enhance undergraduates’ perceptions of learning mathematics in a first-year service mathematics environment

Potter, Andrew D. J. and Golding, Gerry (2020). Developing “use value mindsets” to enhance undergraduates’ perceptions of learning mathematics in a first-year service mathematics environment. In: Proceedings of the British Society for Research into Learning Mathematics (Marks, R. ed.), BSRLM, 39(3), article no. 3.

URL: https://bsrlm.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/BS...

Abstract

This paper will introduce ongoing scholarship work at the Open University (OU) aimed at better understanding perceptions of level-one (first-year) study on the introductory service mathematics module “Discovering Mathematics”. We are concerned about students’ ability to achieve passing grades without really engaging with the material in depth, and how this lack of engagement might impact their future study. Following Williams (2012), we use the concepts of “use value” and “exchange value” to explore student perceptions of their mathematical study. Using data from tutors’ reflective journals and tutor focus groups, we will analyse perceptions of students through the eyes of their tutors in relation to their mathematical studies over two presentations with a focus on two key assessment points. We hope that our findings from the tutors’ reflective journals will inform the development of a range of context-based activities in the learning environment that facilitate the development of use value mindsets.

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