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Can a small scale Mathematics Learning Support Intervention have any impact? Investigation of the impact of a Mathematics Learning Support hour on a first Mathematics and Statistics course for Business Students

Author Deirdre Casey
Abstract Provision of Mathematics Learning Support in Irish Higher Education Institutes has been growing and becoming more widespread in the past twenty years. It aims to tackle the increasing mismatch between incoming students' mathematical knowledge and the expectations of third level institutions. These supports have been shown to have positive impacts on student retention as well as improving students' performance of and confidence in Mathematics. Although large scale Mathematics Learning Supports may be optimal these are expensive and logistically challenging. The aim of this research is to investigate if a very small scale Mathematics learning support intervention, piloted in Griffith College Cork, can have an impact on student confidence, performance and attrition. The Mathematics learning support drop-in service was available for one hour per week to students studying a first Mathematics and Statistics course for their business degree. This paper examines the results of a student survey to evaluate the impacts of the intervention and compares this to results achieved elsewhere in Ireland. Results of students' surveys indicate that even such a small scale intervention can have positive effects on students confidence in mathematics and can also reduce attrition rates of business students in the transition from second level to third level.
Keywords Mathematics Learning Support, Transition, Mathematics, Higher Education, Business Education
Published In ICEP Proceedings
Year 2018
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