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ERIC Number: EJ814433
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Dec
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 26
ISSN: ISSN-0020-739X
"Biomathtutor": Evaluation of a New Multimedia E-Learning Resource to Support Mathematics in the Biosciences
Tariq, V. N.; Jackson, V.
International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, v39 n8 p1003-1021 Dec 2008
The objective of this study was to evaluate "biomathtutor" by (i) investigating the impact of "biomathtutor" on the mathematics skills competencies of bioscience undergraduates, and (ii) assessing students' and tutors' reactions to "biomathtutor", identifying whether and how tutors might integrate it into their curricula and blend it with more traditional teaching practices to enhance their students' learning experiences. A multi-method approach was adopted in which a quasi-experiment and non-experimental evaluation of "biomathtutor" were used to collect both quantitative and qualitative data, using mathematics tests, questionnaires, tutor interviews and student focus groups. Eighty-nine bioscience undergraduates and eight tutors participated in the study. A comparison of student performance in the quasi-experiment, which adopted a pre-test-intervention-post-test methodology, revealed no significant difference between pre-test and post-test scores for either the "control" group (no intervention) or for any of the mathematics learning support interventions used, including "biomathtutor". Despite the limitations of the quasi-experiment which are discussed, tutors' and their students' reactions towards "biomathtutor" were very positive, with both groups agreeing that "biomathtutor" represents a very well designed and useful learning resource that has a valuable role to play in supporting mathematics learning within bioscience curricula. Students felt that using "biomathtutor" had helped them acquire new biological and mathematical knowledge and had increased their competence and confidence in mathematics, with many students confirming that they would use "biomathtutor" again. Tutors felt it would be useful to embed "biomathtutor", where possible, into their curricula, perhaps linking it to assessment strategies or integrating it with their current more traditional teaching practices. Students indicated that they too would like to see "biomathtutor" embedded within their curricula, primarily because it would motivate them to use the resource. Modifications to "biomathtutor", which may need to be considered in light of any potential further development of this resource, are discussed. (Contains 10 tables.) [This evaluation was funded by the Higher Education Academy via its e-learning research grant scheme.][
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A