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The needs of students for maths support will vary both with their existing expertise and with the demands of their course. At the most basic level, students may need support in elementary areas such as the rules of arithmetic and working with ratios and percentages.

Also, many students are required to work with data and be able to describe and present data sets in a meaningful way. Even for those courses where mathematics is a prerequisite for entry, or which involve more sophisticated mathematical ability, students do not always present with strong mathematical competencies. A range of resources is also required, therefore, for students on science and engineering courses in more advanced topics such as statistical analysis, algebra, geometry, and calculus.

The following packages have been designed to support students in need of enhanced mathematical skills. They are ranked in order of general usefulness. Some are downloadable, others accessed via web links.

Mathcentre

Specifically designed for the HE sector, Mathcentre was originally established in 2003 by the Universities of Loughborough, Leeds and Coventry, along with the HEA Maths Stats and OR Subject Centre and the Educational Broadcasting Services Trust.  Subject areas covered include:

Algebra

Geometry

Arithmetic

Integration

Complex Numbers

Matrices

Differentiation

Mechanics

Drug dose calculations

Sequences & Series

Facts and Formulae

Trigonometry

Functions and Graphs

Vectors


Topics range from basic subjects such as fractions, percentages, logarithms, graphs and linear relationships, through to intermediate and advanced topics such as complex numbers and differentiation.
The site provides resources in a range of formats:

  • self study guides;
  • quick reference sheets;
  • test yourself diagnostics and exercises;
  • video tutorials (web and iPod)
    Resources can be browsed by relevant course (e.g. Bioscience, Business, Management and Accountancy, Engineering, Health Sciences and Practice) or searched by subject and resource type.  There is no charge for using the resources and they are licensed under the Creative Commons License.

www.mathcentre.ac.uk

Mathtutor

Mathtutor is the sister site to mathcentre, developed by the same consortium of universities. Where Mathcentre is essentially a resource site, providing materials to cover a range of learning requirements, Mathtutor organizes the material into a more structured sequence of lessons under seven main areas, namely:

Arithmetic | Geometry and vectors

Algebra

Trigonometry

Functions and graphs,
sequences and series

Differentiation
Integration


Each main area is divided into a sequence of lessons and each lesson is available in text or video format, along with exercises and diagnostic tests.  There is no explicit reference to licensing arrangements on Mathtutor, but given that all Mathtutor resources are available individually on Mathcentre, it would seem that the Creative Commons Licence arrangements apply.

www.mathtutor.ac.uk

LearnHigher

The LearnHigher Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning provides study skills resources in Numeracy, Maths and Statistics. There are materials for staff as well as students, in both online and downloadable format.

For students, in each of the three broad areas covered (numeracy, maths, stats), there are work booklets (including exercises and solutions), workshop handouts, and an index to relevant online resources.  One particular feature of the LearnHigher resource is the set of self-assessment tools available for students, typically 'Mathletics' resources available as downloads in QuestionMark Perception format.

Compared to Mathcentre and Mathtutor, a relative strength of the LearnHigher resource is the coverage of statistics which, though limited, covers topics such as the Normal Distribution, Linear Regression and Correlation, and a workshop handout of core statistics concepts.  In addition for staff, there is guidance on running maths study skills sessions, and an annotated index of other online numeracy resources.  There is no charge for using the resources and they are licensed under the Creative Commons Licence.

The Math Forum @ Drexel University

The Math Forum is a North American resource covering a wide range of teaching and learning topics in mathematics at all levels from elementary mathematics through to graduate topics.

www.mathforum.org

From a study skills perspective, the most relevant resource is Ask Dr Math – www.mathforum.org/dr.math/. Ask Dr Math is an extensive collection of short articles and tutorials on specific maths problems. Many of these have been derived from specific questions submitted by students over the years and as such often address very specific maths problems.

Use of Math Forum material is governed by the fair use guidelines issued by the U.S. Copyright Office. Any use beyond that specified in the fair use guidelines must have explicit permission and/or licensing from The Math Forum @ Drexel.

In terms of online use, quoting from the Math Forum site, ‘Links may be made to The Math Forum pages as long as it is clear that this content belongs to The Math Forum and the www.mathforum.org  URLs associated with those linked pages are displayed.

Similarly, The Math Forum's content may not be framed unless it is made clear that the content is hosted by The Math Forum and the URLs of the framed Math Forum pages are displayed.’ (http://mathforum.org/announce/terms.html)

HEA Maths, Stats and OR Network

The Subject Centre maintains links to a range of resources for students. From a study skills perspective, of note are the following:

  • refresher guides in algebra and calculus (these are substantial resources consisting of practice questions to be used in conjunction with supporting reference material from, for example, mathcentre);
  • Facts and Formulae leaflets in:
  • Mechanics Facts and Formulae;
  • Probability and Statistics Facts, Formulae and Information;
  • Mathematics for Computer Science Facts and Formulae;
  • More Facts and Formulae leaflets.

The Subject Centre's Fair use policy provides for the material to be used for non-commercial educational purposes only. Copies sufficient for such use may be made, and all such copies must contain the copyright notice asserting the Network's ownership of copyright. (www.mathstore.ac.uk – Fair use policy).

www.mathstore.ac.uk

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