Centre for Scholarship and Innovation
Students taking qualifications mainly in science, economics and data sciences are now the majority of the students on a second-year undergraduate statistics course. The course was designed as a specialist course for statisticians and increasingly it needs to address the needs of specialists and non-specialists simultaneously. A decision to alter the support structure, rather than the printed course materials, was taken to accommodate this change in the study intentions of the students on the module.
This report covers three main areas:
A fundamental change was to move from geographical allocation of students to tutors, to an allocation based on the qualification route of the students. Alongside this change more tutor time was allocated to tutors for working with their own group of around twenty students.
A set of tutorials geared towards specific qualification groups of students were developed and delivered alongside a set of core tutorials. Students had access to all tutorials and most tutorials were recorded. Students who attended a tutorial “live” were found to be more likely to attend a qualification-based tutorial than a core tutorial. The viewings of recordings of tutorials were predominantly of core tutorials.
The changes made as a part of this project were designed to help non-mathematics and statistics students cope with a traditional statistics course. They have, however, also helped tutors to embrace and enjoy the opportunities to communicate good statistical practice to non-statistics specialists. Tutors have had to accept and deal with the much broader range of backgrounds and interests of the students.
The overall aim was to improve the student experience on the module, but we also increased the range of pre-start activities for students. Additional refresh materials were commissioned, and early module materials were made available. This approach integrated well into the school’s existing “revise and refresh” and “early start” programmes.
As it transpired the pandemic led to so many assessment changes across the University which made it impossible to associate any changes in pass rates to this project.
This report covers the 18 months which were funded by eSTEeM project funding and some of the earlier work the eSTEeM project built on.