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Can peer assisted learning be effective in undergraduate mathematics?

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journal contribution
posted on 11.12.2013 by Francis K. Duah, Tony Croft, Matthew Inglis
We report the implementation and evaluation of a ‘peer assisted learning’ (PAL) scheme designed to reduce the so-called “cooling off” phenomenon in undergraduate mathematics. “Cooling off” occurs when mathematics undergraduates lose motivation and interest in their studies, despite having previously actively chosen to study it at higher levels. We found that, despite concerns about the novel didactic contract inherent in PAL schemes, a majority of students chose to engage with the scheme, and that the student leaders of the PAL sessions were generally capable of implementing a student-centred pedagogy. Furthermore we found that students who attended the PAL sessions had higher achievement in their final examinations, even after controlling for their lecture attendance and prior attainment. We conclude by arguing that PAL may provide a useful mechanism for reducing the prevalence of the “cooling off” phenomenon in some – but not all – groups of mathematics students.

Funding

We are grateful to the HE STEM Programme for funding for this initiative as part of a wider curriculum development project.

History

School

  • Science

Department

  • Mathematics Education Centre

Citation

DUAH, F., CROFT. T. and INGLIS, M., 2013. Can peer assisted learning be effective in undergraduate mathematics? International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, 45 (4), pp.552-565.

Publisher

© Taylor & Francis

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date

2013

Notes

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in the International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology on 13 Nov 2013, available online: http://wwww.tandfonline.com/10.1080/0020739X.2013.855329.

ISSN

0020-739X

eISSN

1464-5211

Language

en

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