Understanding evaluation of learning support in mathematics and statistics

MacGillivray, Helen L. & Croft, Tony (2011) Understanding evaluation of learning support in mathematics and statistics. International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, 42(2), pp. 189-212.

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With rapid and continuing growth of learning support initiatives in mathematics and statistics found in many parts of the world, and with the likelihood that this trend will continue, there is a need to ensure that robust and coherent measures are in place to evaluate the effectiveness of these initiatives. The nature of learning support brings challenges for measurement and analysis of its effects. After briefly reviewing the purpose, rationale for, and extent of current provision, this article provides a framework for those working in learning support to think about how their efforts can be evaluated. It provides references and specific examples of how workers in this field are collecting, analysing and reporting their findings. The framework is used to structure evaluation in terms of usage of facilities, resources and services provided, and also in terms of improvements in performance of the students and staff who engage with them. Very recent developments have started to address the effects of learning support on the development of deeper approaches to learning, the affective domain and the development of communities of practice of both learners and teachers. This article intends to be a stimulus to those who work in mathematics and statistics support to gather even richer, more valuable, forms of data. It provides a 'toolkit' for those interested in evaluation of learning support and closes by referring to an on-line resource being developed to archive the growing body of evidence. © 2011 Taylor & Francis.

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ID Code: 48439
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Statistics Support, Evaluation, Mathematics support, Learning support, HERN
DOI: 10.1080/0020739X.2010.519801
ISSN: 0020-739X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES (010000) > OTHER MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES (019900)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Mathematical Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 Taylor & Francis
Copyright Statement: This is an electronic version of an article published in International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, 42(2), pp. 189-212. International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology is available online at informaworldTM
Deposited On: 05 Feb 2012 23:35
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2015 06:03

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