From theory to reality! Moving out of the classroom

Hoolash, Bheshaj Kumar Ashley (2012) From theory to reality! Moving out of the classroom. Project Report. Middlesex University.

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Abstract

Introduction: An interesting statistic, from a survey conducted with students undertaking Business,
Finance and Management undergraduate programmes at Middlesex University,
Mauritius Branch Campus, revealed that 34% of them have chosen these programmes
because they thought there would not be any mathematics or statistics
involved. Moreover, colleagues teaching social sciences subjects such as Psychology
have complained about the reluctance that the students show and the difficulties
the students face, when they have to study statistics.
Clearly, from the very start, many students are ill-prepared when they have to study
mathematics and statistics modules at Middlesex University - Mauritius Branch
Campus. It is important that those students are guided and encouraged from the
beginning. There are different ways to do this. Some UK universities offer study
guides which students read to get prepared before they start their academic year.
Other institutions have Student Learning Assistants. Usually these are students who
help their peers (students like themselves) in their studies. Normally senior students
would assist junior ones. The aim of this report is to suggest innovative methods
which educators like myself can use, outside the classroom, to improve students’
performances in mathematics-related subjects. The initial focus will be on identifying
chapters in various modules across different levels, that can be used in “real life
experiments“. This can be in the form of either giving students enough resources to
enable them to experiment upon these theories, or using simulation in cases where
resources and budgets are limited. The aim here is for the students to actually see
that the theory they learn in the classroom is happening in real life. The Mathematics
and Statistics Society (Mathsoc) which was recently founded at Middlesex
University - Mauritius Branch Campus, can help in organizing these experiments as
well as setting up games which enable students’ interactions and enhance students’
learning. Middlesex University opened its campus in Mauritius only three years ago, hence there is an understandable control over the budget given to societies.
Mathsoc allows these experiments to be done without putting too much pressure on
the people who are responsible for allocating those budgets.
Motivating students to learn is quite a challenge in itself, but when it comes to
subjects like mathematics, statistics and quantitative methods, the challenge might
be bigger due to the fact that these subjects are more complex, abstract and appear
disconnected from the students’ reality, especially those who are non-specialist
students (those who are studying the above-mentioned subjects as part of a nonmathematical
undergraduate programme).

Item Type: Monograph (Project Report)
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Design Engineering and Mathematics
Item ID: 9672
Depositing User: Bheshaj Hoolash
Date Deposited: 09 Jan 2013 13:34
Last Modified: 07 Sep 2018 17:21
URI: http://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/9672

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