Maths Advice and Revision for Chemistry (MARC)

Beth Paschke, Shazia Ahmed

Abstract


It has been recognised for some time by Science and Engineering departments that students are entering Higher Education ill-equipped in terms of their mathematical skills, despite having in many cases, attained good grades at Higher/A level (The Engineering Council 2000; Fry, Ketteridge & Marshall 1999; Score Education 2009). In an attempt, therefore, to ensure that all students progressing on to Chemistry degrees are equally prepared (in terms of ability and confidence) to attempt the more mathematical aspects of our courses, the School of Chemistry has over recent years been sequentially introducing   mathematics support into the curriculum.  

As part of the School’s ongoing mathematical support provision, the aim of this project was two-fold:  

1)    to assess the popularity and effectiveness of tailored maths support sessions and 

2)    in relation to the teaching of mathematical concepts to science students, collate examples of existing appropriate open educational resources to provide additional support to facilitate student learning such as RSC Discover Maths for Chemistry and Math Centre (Royal Society of Chemistry; MathCentre 2016). 

A pilot project has been carried out during the academic year 2015-2016, where support sessions were delivered in tutorial format by the Maths Adviser. Although the sessions were open to all 3rd year students studying on chemistry degree programmes, the expectation was that they would mainly be attended by students with little formal mathematics training and those who are less confident about their abilities.  

 


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References


Biggs, J. & Tang, C. (2011) Teaching for Quality Learning at University 4th edition, McGraw-Hill Education (UK)

Fry, H., Kettridge, S. & Marshall, S. (2009) A handbook for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Kogan Page.

http://preview.tinyurl.com/l8aqh8g

Gagan (2008) Review of the Student Learning Experience in: CHEMISTRY, Higher Education Academy

https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/system/files/chemrev_final.pdf

MathCentre (2016)

www.mathcentre.ac.uk/

Royal Society of Chemistry http://www.rsc.org/

Score Education (2009) Report: GCSE Science 2008 Examination, Gatsby Technical Education Projects. http://www.score-education.org/downloads/gcse_project/SCORE_report_final.pdf

Shallcross, D.E. & Yates, P.C. (2014). Skills in Mathematics and Statistics in Chemistry and tackling transition. Higher Education Academy https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/system/files/resources/tt_maths_chemistry.pdf

The Engineering Council (2000). Measuring the Maths Problem. Engineering Council, London. http://www.engc.org.uk/engcdocuments/internet/Website/Measuring%20the%20Mathematic%20Problems.pdf




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New Directions in the Teaching of Physical Sciences

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