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

Susan Pawley, Chris Hughes

Abstract


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.


Keywords


Study suppport; Distance learning; Mathematics; Drop-in centre

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.29311/ndtps.v0i13.2898

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New Directions in the Teaching of Physical Sciences

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